Masters champion Johnson wins at Colonial

FORT WORTH, Texas --- Zach Johnson now has a plaid jacket to go along with his green one.


Johnson shot a closing 6-under-par 64 on Sunday in the final round of the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, winning at Hogan's Alley with a tournament-record score of 21-under 259. The 2007 Masters Tournament champion finished three strokes ahead of Brian Davis, who had a closing 68.

When Johnson drained a 14-foot birdie putt at the 17th hole to take a two-stroke lead, he had a wide smile on his face and emphatically pumped his right fist.

The real celebration had to wait.

Before Johnson teed off for his par at the closing 18th, play was suspended for the second time in less than an hour because of weather. Light rain was falling despite sunny skies after the second delay of 46 minutes, a minute shorter than the first one.

Jeff Overton and Ben Crane both shot 67 to finish tied for third at 17-under. Scott Verplank (65) and Bryce Molder (70), who led after the second and third rounds, were another shot back.

Davis was again contending for his first PGA Tour victory, six weeks after the 35-year-old Englishman called a two-stroke penalty on himself on the first hole of a playoff at Hilton Head Island, S.C.

At Colonial, Davis was 19- under with a two-stroke lead after a 51/2-foot putt at the seventh hole. But that was his last birdie of the day. His last-ditch 9-foot birdie try at the 17th slid just past the cup after the delays, then he finished with a bogey.

It is the seventh PGA Tour victory for Johnson and his first since winning at San Antonio last May. His best finish through 12 tournaments this season had been a tie for 12th at the Sony Open in Hawaii the second week of the season.

Along with the plaid jacket given to the winner, Johnson gets a check for $1.116 million.

"I love it. There's a reason I love playing here and keep coming back," Johnson said. "The course does suit me as far as shot-making. I just feel honored."

Johnson's clinching shot at the 381-yard 17th was his fifth birdie on the back nine, though he gave back one of those with his only bogey over his past 21/2 rounds.

Three of those birdies came on putts of at least 22 feet in a four-hole stretch.

He took the lead for good when he drained the longest of the three, a 25-footer at the 427-yard 15th hole soon after the initial weather delay.

When the horn sounded to suspend play the first time, Johnson was approaching his tee shot at No. 15 that landed in the right rough short of a bunker. After that delay ended, he hit his approach onto the green and made the putt to get back to 20-under.

Kenny Perry was 19-under in both of his Colonial victories in 2003 and 2005.

The next-lowest score before this week was 17- under by a trio of players last year when Steve Stricker won on the second playoff hole.

The Colonial score was the lowest for a four-round tournament on the tour since Geoff Ogilvy won the SBS Championship at 22-under 270.

Gay finishes strong in Fort Worth

- Former Louisville, Ga., resident Brian Gay shot 66 -- his best round of the tournament by two shots -- and tied for 33rd place. Gay had a bogey-free final round with four birdies and just 24 putts.

- Blake Adams closed with 1-under-par 69 to finish tied for 27th place. The PGA Tour rookie from Swainsboro, Ga., had two birdies and a bogey.

-- From staff reports



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