FedEx St. Jude Classic
Playing out of the final twosome, overnight co-leader and World No. 2 Dustin Johnson holed out for eagle on the 72nd hole to cap off a 4-under-par 35-31=66 in Sunday’s final round at TPC Southwind for a four-day tally of 19-under 261, good for a six-shot win over runner-up and playing competitor Andrew Putnam (72) and 10 clear of 3rd-place finisher J.B. Holmes (67).
Note: This was the final edition of the FedEx St. Jude Classic as we know it, next season becoming a WGC event (at TPC Southwind) with a date change.
The 33-year-old, a pre-tourney 6/1 fave outright, claims his 18thPGA TOUR title in 232 events, second this season in 11 starts (Sentry TOC), and becomes the season’s sixth multiple winner, joining Kizzire, Thomas, Watson, Day and Rose, all with two apiece.
FUN FACT: Largest margin of victory this season: Johnson: eight shots (Sentry) as 54-hole leader; Johnson: six shots (St. Jude) as 54-hole co-leader.
In DJ’s season opener at the WGC-HSBC back in October – and the start prior to the Sentry – he coughed up a closing 5-over 77 that turned a six-shot advantage thru 54 holes into a two-shot loss (to Rose), finishing T2.
With the win, he returns to No. 1 in the world rankings (for a second time) after relinquishing the top spot four weeks ago after THE PLAYERS. Prior to that, the North Palm Beach, Florida, resident had been top dog for 64 consecutive weeks dating to Feb. 20th, 2017 after winning the Genesis, where he moved from 3rd to 1st.
Final Leaderboard (pre-tourney odds outright):
1- Dustin Johnson (6/1)
2- Andrew Putnam (100/1)
3- J.B. Holmes (80/1)
T4- Stewart Cink (200/1)
T4- Richy Werenski (250/1)
FUN FACT: Two players recorded their first top 10s on TOUR since June of last year: Cink and Brandt Snedeker (T6). This was Cink’s first top 10 since T10 here last year (as 18- and 54-hole co-leader), and Snedeker’s first top 10 since T9 at last year’s U.S. Open.
FUN FACT: 18 players were in the top 10 thru 54 holes. Eight of those had 0 wins on TOUR. Two of those had won as recently as 2017 (Wesley Bryan, Brooks Koepka), while only one had a win already in 2018, Dustin Johnson. There’s your winner.
Cuts Made: 11
Top 25s: 10
Top 10s: 7
Top 5s: 4
Season Form: 1-8-17-16-10-59-7-16-2-1-2
FEC Rank: 2nd (UP 6)
OWGR: 1st(UP 1)
FUN FACT: Johnson has four top 5s this season, all 1st- or 2nd-place finishes. With seven top 10s, he’s tied for the season lead with Brian Harman. His five straight top-25 finishes are tied for second longest (current) streak of the season behind Jimmy Walker’s six.
Overall, Johnson has now recorded 84 top-10 finishes with 35 of those top 3s. With the win on Maui in January, the South Carolina native had previously extended his run of 11 straight seasons with at least one win, the longest active streak on TOUR.
188: Cuts Made (81.0%)
8: WD (3.4%)
123: Top 25s (53.0%)
84: Top 10s (36.2%)
35: Top 3s (15.0%)
18: Wins (7.7%)
Breakdown of Johnson’s 18 TOUR wins:
- 17 stroke play
- 9 as 54-hole leader/co-leader
- Par 73: 2 wins
- Par 72: 6 wins
- Par 71: 5 wins
- Par 70: 5 wins
Dating to his first (and lone) major championship victory at the 2016 U.S. Open (Oakmont, PA), Johnson has now won 9 times in his last 40 starts for a win percentage of 22.5% during that span.
He’s the victor at the St. Jude for a second time in six tries, joining his come-from-behind win on debut in 2012.
Cuts Made: 5
Top 25s: 5
Top 10s: 4
Top 5s: 3 (two straight)
Johnson’s KEY Stats for the Week (ranking of 72):
Birdies: 21 (1st)
Par-4 Scoring: 3.77 (1st)
All Around: 1st
Eagles: 2 (T1)
Bogeys: 4 (2nd)
Proximity to Hole: 26’10” (2nd)
Putts per GIR: 1.592 (2nd)
Par-5 Scoring: 4.25 (T2)
SG: Off-the-Tee: 5.01 (4th)
SG: Approach-the-Green: 9.83 (2nd)
SG: Around-the-Green: 2.08 (14th)
SG: Putting: 3.86 (12th)
SG: Tee-to-Green: 16.92 (1st)
DJ is just the second winner this season to rank in the top 15 in ALL strokes gained categories, joining himself at the Sentry TOC.
He is the season leader in Par-3 Scoring (2.97), Par-5 Scoring (4.46), and tied for the lead in Par-4 Scoring (3.91) with Stenson and Rose.
After kicking off in 67-63-65, Johnson co-led (with Putnam) and hit six (of 14) fairways and 12 GIR, gaining 4.277 strokes tee-to-green. He squared a lone bogey-5 at hole 5, outflanked by three birdies at 3, 13 and 16, adding the walk-off eagle-2 from 171 yards away. Johnson posted 1.667 putts per GIR and 0.737 SG: Putting with 27 total putts.
Johnson: par-saver at 12 from 15’8” to maintain a two-shot advantage and then hit his second to the par-4 13th from 95 yards out – after a 359-yard drive – to 33 inches for a kick-in 3, now three clear of Putnam. He added birdie-4 at 16, up by four, and then the walk-off exclamation for the final margin. DJ came home in bogey-free 4-under, while Putnam was bogey-free also, with nine straight pars.
FUN FACT: Johnson arrived off a T8 last week at the Memorial. He is the 21ststraight winner this season with either 0 or 1 week off prior to their wins. In total, 27 (of 32) event winners fall into this category. #NoLongLayoffsPlease
FUN FACT: This was DJ’s fourth 54-hole lead/co-lead of the season in 11 starts. He entered as the season leader in leads/co-leads after ANY round with 7 and now has 10. Next closest are Beau Hossler and Marc Leishman with six each (though no wins).
FUN FACT: Last season, DJ led/co-led nine times after ANY round in 20 starts en route to four victories.
With a Strength of Field rating of 191 – down from 203 last year – Johnson banks 36.00 world-ranking points, 0.2873 average points ahead of now No. 2 Justin Thomas, who held the top spot for a month following a T11 at THE PLAYERS.
Both Johnson and Thomas finished T8 at the Memorial – in their next starts after THE PLAYERS – while Thomas was idle this week. Thomas is the reigning PGA TOUR Player of the Year while Johnson won the award in 2016.
Andrew Putnam: Making his second appearance (CUT/2015) and 44th career start (43 pro), the overnight co-leader and World No. 273 submitted a 2-over-par 37-35=72 after the final round for 13-under 267, down one place to a career-best solo 2nd.
This was the Pepperdine alum's first 54-hole lead/co-lead and his first career top-3 finish, bettering a T5 at the Corales seven starts ago. He improves to 13-for-19 on the season with six top 25s and three top 10s.
After kicking off in 67-64-64, both of those 64s career-tying lows, the 29-year-old hit nine fairways and 11 GIR, gaining 0.866 strokes approaching but losing 0.751 around and 0.997 on-the-green, needing 30 total putts.
The two-time Web.com Tour grad opened with a shaky double bogey-6, squared bogey-5 at 5, and mustered a lone birdie-3 at 7. For the week, Putnam totaled 17 birdies versus two bogeys and one double and ranked No. 1 in total bogeys and GIR at 77.78% (56/72). He arrived off a T20 in Fort Worth, where he opened with 64.
The Washington state native and resident attempted to sectional qualify (in Memphis) for the U.S. Open but WD after a first-round, 1-under 70. His brother, Michael, a former TOUR member, did sectional qualify (in Columbus).
FEC Rank: 49th (UP 58)
OWGR: 150th (UP 123); career high
Season Form: 2-20-42-82/MDF-15-8-32-5
Cuts Made: 13
Top 25s: 6
Top 10s: 3
Top 5s: 2
Odds Favorite(s) Outright:
DJ (6/1): He was also a 12/1 co-fave at last week’s Memorial (finished T8). DJ’s just the third fave/co-fave to win this season.
3 pre-tourney fave/co-faves won:
Dustin Johnson: 6/1 (St. Jude)
Jon Rahm: 8/1 (CareerBuilder)
Justin Thomas: 15/2 (CJ CUP)
Dating to the beginning of the 2016-17 season (125 events), the pre-tourney fave/co-fave has won 9 times for a conversion percentage of 7.2%
Phil Mickelson: Had four top 10s in his last five St. Jude’s (three straight) and five consecutive top 11s. Finished with 5-under 65 (6 birdies, 1 bogey) for T12 on 6-under 274 (66-70-73-65). It’s his 11th top 25 of the season in 15 starts, two straight.
FEC Rank: 6th (DOWN one)
OWGR: 20th (no change)
Season Form: 12-13-MC-5-36-24-17-P1-6-2-5
St. Jude Form: 12-9-2-3-11-2-59-MC
Brooks Koepka: Won once last season in 24 starts, the 117th U.S. Open in Wisconsin, where he came from one back w/ 5-under 67 and won by four over Matsuyama and Harman for his second TOUR title. It was his first major title in 15 major appearances and tied the U.S. Open scoring record (to par) with 2011 champ McIlroy (Congressional). Koepka arrived at last year’s U.S. Open off a T31 at Memorial and T37 here (69-66-71-73).
In just his seventh start this season, the 28-year-old finished this week T30 on 3-under 277 (66-69-69-73), ending with a birdie-less, 3-over 73.
FEC Rank: 46th (UP one)
OWGR: 9th (no change)
Season Form: 30-2-11-42-MC-34-2
St. Jude Form: 30-37-2-3-19
Joaquin Niemann: First start as a Special Temporary Member. Missed the cut by two on 2-over 69-73=142. Second-youngest STM (19 years, 6 months, 28 days) to Sergio Garcia (1999), who was 19 years, 4 months, 29 days.
This was his seventh start of the season (sixth pro) and tournament debut, in via a top-10 finish (T6) at last week’s Memorial. In those seven starts, Niemann has three top 10s and four MCs.
Non-member FEC Rank: 2nd (no change)
OWGR: 226th (DOWN three)
Season Form: MC-6-8-MC-MC-6-MC
The Chilean attempted to sectional qualify for the U.S. Open (in Columbus) after the Memorial but WD after a first-round, 2-over 74.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat: First start as a Special Temporary Member (eligible after T30 at THE PLAYERS) and first Thai TOUR member. Making his tournament debut on a sponsor invite, missed the cut by five on 5-over 72-73=145. The 28-year-old is in the field at the U.S. Open via the OWGR.
Non-member FEC Rank: 1st (no change)
OWGR: 31st (no change)
Season Form: MC-13-30-44-5-MC-5-68-24
Daniel Berger: Playing the first two rounds with eventual champ Johnson, two-time defender missed the cut by one on 1-over 70-71=141. Was looking to become just the second player in TOUR history to win their first three titles at the SAME event. The 25-year-old is in the field at the U.S. Open via the OWGR.
FEC Rank: 88th (DOWN two)
OWGR: 43rd (DOWN two)
Season Form: MC-57-55-MC(team)-32-18-59-14-29-MC
St. Jude Form: MC-1-1
Billy Horschel: Had four consecutive top 10s at St. Jude, longest current streak of anyone in the field. Needed to win this week to get into the U.S. Open (via OWGR). Finished T51 on 1-over 281 (70-70-67-74).
FEC Rank: 37th (UP one)
OWGR: 87th (DOWN one)
Season Form: 51-MC-21-37-1(team)-11-5-MC(Masters)
St. Jude Form: 51-4-8-6-10-72-MC-MC
Field Scoring Average:
Par: 70 (35-35)
Cumulative scoring averages:
Johnson: 67-63-65-66 for 20.781 SG: Total
Johnson’s Position by Round:
Leader/co-leaders by Round:
R1: Seamus Power (finished T12): 0-for-1 as 18-hole leader/co-leader
R2: Dustin Johnson (Won): 8-for-15 as 36-hole leader/co-leader
R3: Andrew Putnam (2nd): 0-for-1 as 54-hole leader/co-leader
R3: Dustin Johnson (Won): 9-for-16
Note: Putnam’s R3 co-lead was his 2nd lead/co-lead of season but first individual. Was 36-hole leader at Zurich teamed with Michael Kim (finished T15).
Note: Of the last 11 non-team events, 10 were won by a 54-hole leader/co-leader, seven straight. Satoshi Kodaira (Heritage) is the most recent come-from-behind winner.
A total of 72 players (71 pros, 1 amateur) from a field of 155 pros and 1 amateur made the 36-hole cut of even-par 140:
39 (of 78) EARLY/late
11 players finished in the top 10:
Note: Five of the last six winners of the St. Jude have been LATE/early (Berger/2017).
20 (of 32) tourneys this season with a traditional draw:
LATE/early: 9 (Johnson)
R1: 65: Seamus Power
R2: 62: Brandt Snedeker
Multiple Bogey-free Rounds:
Spotlight U.S. Open:
Note: No player has ever won a PGA TOUR event and then gone on to win the U.S. Open the following week.
29 players at St. Jude that were already in the field at the U.S. Open:
21 who made the cut (best finishers):
Thru 54 holes, three players with Volunteer State connections were in the overnight top 10:
T7: Brandt Snedeker (finished T6): Tennessee native and resident; Vanderbilt alum
T10: Scott Stallings (finished T30): Tennessee resident; Tennessee Tech alum
T10: Seamus Power (T12): East Tennessee State alum
Picking a Winner:
Through 32 events (33 winners) this season:
10 winners were in their 20s
18 were in their 30s (Johnson: age 33)
5 were in their 40s
20 (of 33) winners had a top-25 finish the start prior (60.6%):
Johnson? Yes: T8 (Memorial)
11 (of 33) winners had a top-10 finish the start prior (33.3%)
Johnson? Yes: T8 (Memorial)