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PGA Tour Article
BellSouth Classic, Sugarlaof, Duluth, Georgia

Zach Johnson gains Debut Victory at BellSouth


Winner, Zach Johnson. Photo - Getty images

Having ended last year as the 2003 Nationwide Tour Player of the Year, it hasn't taken 28 year-old Zach Johnson very long in his PGA Tour rookie year to make his mark. After only nine starts he has collected his first title, the BellSouth Classic, with a minus 13 total of 275 one shot clear of nearest rival Mark Hensby of Australia. Johnson started the day with a 3 stroke lead and began the final round well, picking up 5 birdies and a double-bogey in the first 10 holes.
Then things started to fall apart. With 4 bogeys and only one birdie on the next 5 holes he was back to level par for the day. There were still 3 holes left to play under the pressure of serious challenges not least from playing partner Padraig Harrington who had recovered the five shots he dropped early in the round and was then only 2 shots behind him.


Mark Hensby. Photo - Getty Images


Scott Hend. Photo - Getty Images

He parred the 16th and Harrington's challenge evaporated with a bogey. Meanwhile Hensby finished off a 5 under par round of 67 with a birdie on the 18th and was in the clubhouse just one shot back. Johnson couldn't afford to drop any more shots. He parred the 17th and took the safe route round the water to the par 5, 18th green and was left with about a five foot putt which he sank to secure victory and an emotional embrace from his wife.
Australian, Scott Hend, birdied the last two holes to finish one under for the day and take third place with a total of 277, 11 under par. Harrington ended up level for the day to take fourth with 278 and Peter Lonard made it 3 Australians in the top 5 by taking fifth place with 280.

Defending champion, Ben Crane, finished on 281 tied for sixth place with Lee Janzen and Phil Mickelson registered yet another top-10 finish (10th 283).


Padraig Harrington. Photo - Getty Images

 

 

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