LAKE FOREST, Ill. —
Johnson wasn’t the only player who felt like a winner Monday.
Luke Donald, a member at Conway Farms, was No. 54 in the FedEx Cup and was on the verge of being left out of the top 30 players who advanced to the Tour Championship. He ran off four straight birdies on the back nine, atoned for a bogey on No. 16 with a birdie on the 17th, and then saved par from a bunker on the 18th hole for a 66 to tie for fourth. That moved him up to No. 29 to get him into East Lake.
Watney was at No. 34, and he went from playing his way into the top 30 to nearly winning the tournament. Watney closed with a 64 and was tied for the lead until Johnson made an 18-foot birdie putt out of the first cut on the 16th hole, and a 12-footer for birdie on the next hole.
“The guys ahead of me were ahead of me for a reason — they’ve been playing well all year,” Watney said. “Luckily for me, I kind of pulled everything together.”
The FedEx Cup points will be reset, meaning the top five only have to win the Tour Championship to capture the cup.
Tiger Woods will be the No. 1 seed, though he doesn’t go there with much momentum. Woods started the final round in cool, breezy conditions just four shots behind and was never a factor after missing a short par putt on the opening hole. He closed with a 71 and tied for 11th, seven shots behind.
“It was not a very good putting week,” Woods said, who was coming off a tie for 65th on the TPC Boston. “It’s just one of those weeks where I just didn’t have it.”
Henrik Stenson, a winner in Boston and angry enough in Chicago that he snapped off the head of his driver during the final round, will be the No. 2 seed at East Lake, followed by Masters champion Adam Scott, Johnson and Matt Kuchar.