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August 23-26


Bethpage State Park (Black Course) (Par 70/7,214 yards) Farmingdale, New York


The Barclays


The final group during the last round of The Barclays: Matt Kuchar, Dustin Johnson and Vijay Singh.


NOT THAT WE ENCOURAGE WAGERING, but here’s a tip: If there’s a tournament that looks certain to be rain-shortened and Dustin Johnson is anywhere near the lead, he’s your guy. At The Barclays last year, Johnson won a rain-


shortened tournament for the second time in three years, the first coming at the 2009 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. With Hurricane Irene bearing down on the New York City area (really, a hurricane in New York in August?), Johnson ran off a 6-under-par 65 on Saturday to beat defending champion Matt Kuchar by two strokes. The victory was Johnson’s first of 2011 and gave him four consecutive years with at least one victory. It also rocketed him to the top of the FedExCup standings with just three events to go. All in all, a very nice place to be.


178 PGA TOUR ESSENTIAL GUIDE 2012 “It feels great,” Johnson said. “I feel like I’ve


played pretty well all year but just haven’t quite been able to get that win. The putter has been lacking a little bit. This week I finally rolled some putts, so this feels really good. “I was never really concerned. It was more


frustrating than anything because I felt like I had played some really good golf this year. I just have not been able to quite get it done.”


A QUICK START WAS THE KEY Johnson didn’t waste any time taking control of matters. He fired off five birdies, an eagle and a bogey for a smooth-running 29 on the front side at the historic Plainfield Country Club in New Jersey. The 29 matched his front-nine score on Friday after a 30 on Thursday. Is there such a


thing as horses for nines? “I don’t know what it is about the front but I


played pretty well on there,” Johnson said. “I wish we could have just kept playing the front nine, I would have done really well this week.” Kuchar, who led by one at the start of the day,


became derailed by bogeys on 11 and 12 and those, plus Johnson’s power and fine play, were just too much for him to overcome. “Dustin and I each had it going on the front side and that made for some exciting golf,” said Kuchar, who was in second place heading to TPC Boston and the second event of the Playoffs, the Deutsche Bank Championship. “It’s a bummer not to successfully defend. I was right there with a shot at it and to come up short, it’s frustrating.“ But it’s not like his loss was a fluke. Johnson has


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