Zach Johnson

Zach Johnson (1 Open, 1 Masters, 5 Ryder Cup's.)

1976

Zachary Harris Johnson (born February 24, 1976) is an American professional golfer who has 12 victories on the PGA Tour, including two major championships, the 2007 Masters and the 2015 Open Championship.

The son of a chiropractor, Johnson was born in Iowa City, Iowa and raised in Cedar Rapids,[1] the eldest of Dave and Julie Johnson's three children. Playing many sports as a youth (baseballbasketballfootball, and soccer), Johnson took up golf at age 10 and developed his skills at Elmcrest Country Club. He played number-two on the Regis High School golf team and led them to an Iowa 3A state championship in 1992, his sophomore year.[2]

Following graduation from high school in 1994, Johnson enrolled at Drake University in Des Moines. As the number-two player on the Drake golf team, he led the Bulldogs to three NCAA regional meets and two Missouri Valley championships. Johnson's uncle, Tom Harris, qualified for the 1975 NAIA national tournament.

Johnson turned professional in 1998 and played on the developmental tour circuit, including the now-defunct Prairie Golf Tour, the Buy.com Tour (later the Nationwide Tour and Web.com Tour), and the Hooters Tour, where he won the final three regular-season events in 2001. In 2003, he topped the money list on the Nationwide Tour with then record earnings of $494,882, earning an automatic promotion to the PGA Tour.

Johnson won his first PGA Tour event at the 2004 BellSouth Classic outside of Atlanta when he finished one stroke ahead of Mark Hensby. In 2006, Johnson recorded a number of impressive results including two runner-up places and finishing third at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. As a result of this, he qualified for the U.S. Ryder Cup team for the first time in 2006, finishing 9th on the U.S. points list.

On April 8, 2007, Johnson won his first major title at the Masters Tournament in Augusta by a margin of two strokes over Tiger WoodsRetief Goosen, and Rory Sabbatini. Johnson's score of 289 (+1) tied Sam Snead (1954) and Jack Burke Jr. (1956) for the highest winning score at the Masters. His victory took him from #56 to #15 in the world rankings; he was the first outside the top 50 in the world rankings to win the Masters in the history of the rankings. After winning, he mentioned his Christian faith and thanked God, saying: "This being Easter, I cannot help but believe my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ was walking with me. I owe this to Him."[3]

Six weeks after winning the Masters, Johnson won for the third time on tour at the 2007 AT&T Classic in a playoff over Ryuji Imada. Following the win, Johnson moved to 13th in the world rankings. His next PGA Tour victory, and first outside the state of Georgia, came at the 2008 Valero Texas Open, where he finished with rounds of 62 and 64 over the weekend to finish two strokes ahead of a chasing pack of players.

Johnson won the Sony Open in Hawaii in January 2009 for his fifth victory on the PGA Tour, and successfully defended his title at the Valero Texas Open in May with a playoff victory over James Driscoll.[4] With a third-round 60, Johnson became the first player to shoot 60 twice on the PGA Tour, having done so previously at the 2007 Tour Championship. The win was Johnson's sixth on tour. Other highlights in 2009 include a tie for 2nd place at the John Deere Classic and a solo 3rd-place finish at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. He finished the season ranked a career best fourth on the money list.

In 2010, Johnson started the season solidly on the PGA Tour, making ten of his first eleven cuts without any significant results. Then in June 2010, Johnson won the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, his seventh PGA Tour victory. Johnson only missed two cuts all year en route to qualifying for the season ending Tour Championship and the 2010 U.S. Ryder Cup team, his second appearance in the event.[5]

In 2012, Johnson won the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial for the second time in his career. He made a five-foot putt on the last hole for what appeared to be a three shot victory, but a ruling on the final hole resulted in a two-stroke penalty. Fortunately, it did not affect the outcome of the tournament, with the only difference being Johnson signing for a 6 instead of a 4 on the final hole, with Johnson winning by a single stroke over Jason Dufner.[6] He jumped to 3rd in the FedEx Cup standings and returned to the world top 20 with this victory.

Johnson moved to second in the FedEx Cup standings with a playoff win on July 15, 2012, at the John Deere Classic.[7] Johnson defeated Troy Matteson, who started the day up four shots on Johnson and had led the tournament since the first round,[8] with a birdie on the second hole of their playoff. Johnson also started the day behind three-time defending champion Steve Stricker, who was three shots behind Matteson. It was Johnson's second win on the year after winning at Colonial Country Club.[9] Mike Bender, Johnson's swing coach, also caddied for the week while usual caddie Damon Green played in the U.S. Senior Open.[10]

At the 2012 Open Championship, played at Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club in Lancashire, England, Johnson finished at even par for the tournament (280), tied for ninth, seven shots behind winner Ernie Els.[11]

In 2013, Johnson, in defense of his John Deere Classic title, lost in a three-man sudden-death playoff to Jordan Spieth at the fifth extra hole, after he bogeyed the final hole of regulation play with a one shot lead. In the playoff, all three players, Johnson, Spieth and David Hearn, had chances to win with Johnson's coming at the second extra hole, but he failed to convert the putt. Spieth won with par at the fifth extra hole after Johnson hit his second shot into the water and could only make bogey.

The following week, Johnson opened up the 2013 Open Championship at Muirfield, with a five-under-par round of 66 to hold the lead by one stroke over Rafael Cabrera-Bello and Mark O'Meara. He finished the tournament in a tie for 6th place.

He continued solid play for the rest of the summer, finishing in the top-10 in six of the next seven tournaments he would enter, including an 8th-place finish at the PGA Championship, making it back to back top-10 finishes at major events. In September, Johnson captured the BMW Championship for his tenth career victory and first FedEx Cup victory of his career.

In December 2013, Johnson attained a playoff victory over Tiger Woods at the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge.[12] This win moved him into the top ten of the Official World Golf Ranking for the first time in his career.

Johnson captured his 11th career victory in January 2014 with a win at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.[13] With the win, Johnson moved up to a career high 7th in the Official World Golf Ranking.

At the 2014 U.S. Open, Johnson had a hole in one on the 172 yard par-3 9th hole. It was the 44th hole in one in U.S. Open history, and just the second at Pinehurst No. 2.[14]

On July 20, 2015, Johnson beat Louis Oosthuizen and Marc Leishman in a 4-hole playoff to win the Open Championship at St Andrews for his 12th PGA Tour win and second major.[15] He became only the sixth golfer to win majors at Augusta and St. Andrews, the others being Sam SneadJack NicklausNick FaldoSeve Ballesteros, and Woods.[16]

Johnson is one of only two players (the other being Phil Mickelson) to have twice shot a round of 60 on the PGA Tour.[17]

Johnson and his wife, the former Kim Barclay, were members of First Baptist Church in Orlando.[18]

Johnson was raised a Catholic, but joined his wife's church prior to their marriage in 2003. They have two sons, Will and Wyatt, and one daughter, Abby Jane. They lived in Lake Mary, Florida and now reside in St. Simons, Georgia.[19]

The Zach Johnson Foundation is dedicated to helping children and their families in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. One program created by Johnson and his wife Kim helped to raise $700,000 for community agencies serving children in need. He has stated: "This Foundation will fulfill a dream of mine and Kim's to give back to Cedar Rapids in a long-lasting, meaningful way."[20]