Johnson wins as Pebble finale canceled
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- Some 40 hours after hitting his last shot, Dustin Johnson won the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am on Monday when rain created a small river through one fairway and flooded greens, forcing officials to cancel the final round.
Johnson built a four-shot lead Saturday with a 67 at Poppy Hills, holing a 7-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole that figured to give him a cushion going into the final round. But it was never played.
Rain and wind strong enough to topple a 40-foot tree suspended the final round Sunday, and nearly 1½ inches of rain and a forecast for more gloom along the Monterey Peninsula left the PGA Tour no choice but to declare Johnson the winner.
AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am
1. Johnson (-15)
2. Weir (-11)
3. Goosen (-10)
T-4. Estes (-9)
T-4. Calcavecchia (-9)
• Complete scores
Johnson won at Turning Stone last year with birdies on the last two holes. This time, he won while on his way to breakfast.
"I prepared myself that we were going to play today," he said. "I did everything normal like we were going to play. I still went to have breakfast, and that's when I found out that we weren't going to play. I found out from another player who actually called me and congratulated me. And I was like, 'What are you talking about?"
Johnson, at 24 years and 7 months, is the youngest player to win the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am since Tiger Woods (24 years, 1 month) in 2000. With his victory, Johnson joins Anthony Kim as the only players under 25 with two PGA Tour victories.
This one came at a particularly good time.
He moves up to No. 45 in the world, qualifying for the Accenture Match Play Championship next week. Johnson also qualified for the first two majors of the year, including his first trip to the Masters.
Johnson grew up in South Carolina, less than an hour away from Augusta National. Johnson has had a few offers to play the course, but each time turned them down.
"I just really wanted to be in the tournament before I went and played it," he said.
Mike Weir of Canada, desperate to play knowing the conditions would be tough and sloppy, had to settle for runner-up. It would have been the second time in four years that Weir played in the final group at Pebble Beach.
Johnson finished at 15-under 201, the first 54-hole winner on the PGA Tour since Phil Mickelson won the BellSouth Classic outside Atlanta in 2005. That tournament concluded on a Monday.
This was the first time a 54-hole winner played his final shot on a Saturday since Pebble Beach in 1999, when Payne Stewart birdied his final hole for a one-shot lead. The final round was washed out Sunday and the tournament shortened because of a storm system that stretched from the California coast to the shores of Japan.
Two-time U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen finished alone in third.
The cancellation was a blow to D.J. Trahan, who was in a three-way tie for sixth going into the last round. He would have needed to finish fifth alone to qualify for the Match Play, but instead will move up to No. 66 and need two players to withdraw.
While it goes down in the books as a 54-hole event, Johnson looked tough to beat all week.
He opened with a 7-under 65 at Pebble Beach, added a 69 at Spyglass Hill to stay near the lead, then surged ahead with birdies on all the par 5s at Poppy Hills for a 67 to build a big lead.
Johnson now forces himself into the conversation of young stars in golf. His other victory late last year came at Turning Stone, part of the Fall Series when the stars stay away. He beat a field at Pebble that included five of the top 15 in the world.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
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