Each week, Sports Illustrated’s Golf.com has a roundtable of writers after the weekend’s
golf events and news. When the topic was Zach Johnson and his win of the Crowne Pointe Invitational, here’s what they said:
For the entire piece, click here:
For other accounts of Johnson’s win Sunday:
Larry Dorman, New York Times: Ignoring two delays because of lightning that stalled play for nearly 90 minutes, Johnson came out like the golf version of a rodeo bulldogger, grabbed the tournament by the horns, wrestled it to the ground and tied it up with a final-round 64 that gave him his third Texas tournament victory in three years.
Helen Ross, PGATour.com: And as it turned out, that big fat 80 Zach Johnson shot in the first round at TPC San Antonio may have paved the way for the success he had on Sunday when he won for the seventh time in his PGA TOUR career.
Johnson went on to miss the cut at Valero and headed home to Georgia for some soul-searching. He returned to the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial determined see how things would unfold, rather than get ahead of himself.
Bill Nichols, Dallas Morning News: Johnson, a two-time winner last year, was still looking for a top-10 when he got to Colonial. He had been thinking too much about the final result. A talk with his mind coach helped sort that out.
“I was trying to force things,” he said. “I was too concerned about Sunday on Thursday just because I felt my game was in good condition. I felt like I should be able to contend and win and just wasn’t letting it happen.”
Melanie Hauser, PGATour.com: “Three weeks ago, Zach Johnson said he was close. The game was good. The problem was his head. “I want to do it now instead of letting it happen,” he said at THE PLAYERS. “Hitting it well, putting it ok. The impatience has come from the putter more than anything else.” So what does he do at Colonial? Make everything he looks at on the weekend. Next time a former major champ says he’s close, don’t consider it yada-yada.”
In another era or on another tour or in another galaxy where tournament venues weren’t awarded based on money but rather because they were both the most fun and challenging, Johnson would be an absolute superstar.
By that, I mean the former Masters champion is one of the game’s supreme ball-strikers, a guy who is downright fierce on courses where fairways-and-greens type of play is preferential to bomb-and-gouge. Unless a track is playing fast and firm — like Augusta National when he won there three years ago — he’s not the type to overpower a big ballpark. But get a wedge in his hands and he’ll make himself a nice paycheck every time.
Then again, even with how the PGA Tour’s tournament schedule is currently configured, Johnson isn’t too far from that superstar status.
When he won the green jacket, I was almost immediately asked what kind of career we should expect from him. My response was that he would be a poor man’s David Toms — and that’s a compliment, not an insult — a solid player who would contend for a few titles each year and maybe win one of ‘em.
Well, after earning his seventh career victory at the Crowne Plaza Invitational on Sunday — and sixth in the last four seasons — it’s readily apparent: Johnson isn’t a poor man’s anyone. In fact, the guy is making himself pretty rich these days.
At Colonial, he strung together rounds of 65-66-64-64, numbers which don’t even equal the nightly low temperatures in the Dallas-Fort Worth area this time of year.
“You know, the course does suit me, as far as shot-making,” he said afterward.
It’s a shame there aren’t more courses that suit Johnson’s game. Not only for him personally, but because the rest of us deserve to witness the elegance of such shot-making displays, as well.