Zach Johnson with Another Top-10 Finish - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Zach Johnson with Another Top-10 Finish

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Will Hall

whall@myabc5.com

@willhallabc5

 

The ultimate prize, a 10th career PGA Tour victory, eluded Zach Johnson Sunday.

Starting the day a shot out of the lead at the Wyndham Championship, the Iowa native closed with a 2-under-par 68 that left him in a tie for fifth and three shots out of the Patrick Reed-Jordan Spieth playoff. Reed won on the second hole of sudden-death.

But when Gabe Johnson marries Stacey Brigance on Saturday in Barrington, Ill., his best man will be the hottest player on the PGA Tour.

Zach, Gabe's older brother, recorded his fifth straight Top 10 finish Sunday. That hasn't been done on the PGA Tour since 2011, when Luke Donald ran off eight straight early that season.

Since Donald's incredible stretch of golf, seven different players besides Johnson have put together four straight Top 10s — Tiger Woods, Keegan Bradley, Billy Horschel and Lee Westwood this season and Dustin Johnson, Ryan Moore and Rickie Fowler in 2012.

Only two of those streaks included a major. Johnson's streak includes two majors — a tie for sixth at the British Open and a tie for eighth at the PGA Championship. He also had a playoff loss to Spieth at the John Deere and tied for fourth at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational in that run.

Johnson's previous best streak had been three straight Top 10s in both 2007 (T9, World Golf Championships-CA Championship, 1st, Masters and 6th, Verizon Heritage) and 2005 (T3, Ford Championship at Doral, T8, Bay Hill Invitational and T8, The Players Championship).

In the 20 rounds he's played while racking up five straight Top 10s, Johnson has shot in the 60s on 14 occasions, and had just three over-par rounds.

Johnson's hot streak started at the John Deere, an event he entered 76th on the FedEx Cup playoffs list. Five Top 10s later, he enters the playoffs in 18th. Johnson moved up five spots with his tie for fifth Sunday. He was 74th on the PGA Tour money list starting the John Deere. Now he's 20th with earnings of $2,287,259.

Johnson hadn't played the Wyndham since 2008, but his hot streak and missing the playoff opener to stand up with his brother is why he played.

"There was no reason to stop," Johnson said. "Plus, I didn't want to have two weeks off going into Boston."

Even though he'll miss The Barclays this week to kick off the playoffs, Johnson's absence will have one built-in advantage. Zach will join members of his family for a round at Conway Farms in Lake Forest, Ill., on Friday. The third playoff event, the BMW Championship, will be played at Conway Farms Sept. 12-15.

Zach's first playoff event will be the Deutsche Bank Championship in Boston, Mass., starting August 30. After that event, the Top 10 players on the Presidents Cup point list will automatically make the team for the competition Oct. 3-6 in Dublin, Ohio.

Johnson moved up a spot to ninth on the points list with his tie for fifth at the Wyndham, passing Steve Stricker. Johnson played on Presidents Cup teams in 2007 and 2009, as well as Ryder Cup teams in 2006, 2010 and 2012.

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