Golf Tidbits: Johnson wins with karma on his side

The Sports NetworkSeptember 17, 2013 

Zach Johnson knew for months he was going to miss The Barclays, the first FedExCup event. It wasn't really big news at the time, but he missed the event for all the right reasons.

Johnson was the best man at his brother's wedding, which coincided with The Barclays. He looked back on those events after winning the BMW Championship on Monday.

"You're not going to miss your brother's wedding, especially when you're the best man, and I had zero intentions of missing that wedding, especially if I'm going to get along with my new sister-in-law," Johnson said with a touch of humor.

It was a valid argument for anyone to make, but Johnson was skipping the first FedExCup Playoff event, and by skipping that tournament, he could have cost himself a spot in The Tour Championship.

Johnson entered the BMW Championship ranked 27th on the FedExCup points list. He needed a solid week because the top 30 on that list make it to The Tour Championship.

Thanks to a spotless final-round 66, Johnson doesn't have to worry about getting into the field at East Lake. He just has to book his flight and accommodations for the week.

Johnson soared to fourth on the points list and put himself in prime position to win the $10 million annuity that comes with winning the FedExCup.

Another win this week and that $10 million is his.

The karma part comes from prior to the wedding, which took place not far from Conway Farms, where the BMW was contested. The day before the wedding, Johnson had a little family outing at the course.

The day served as a little scouting trip for him, and a little family fun at the same time.

Johnson, who is deeply religious and a devoted family man, surely would be able to upgrade whatever wedding gift he gave the lucky couple, if he were to win The Tour Championship this week.

His brother and sister-in-law were only part of the group celebrating his win on Monday. Time and again, Johnson thanked his team after the victory.

The team includes (in no particular order) his family, his caddie, his coaches and his sponsors. He keeps them all close as they've all helped him to get where he is today.

And where he is today is a 10-time winner on the PGA Tour who has earned over $30 million in his career.

Johnson is an undersized grinder. He was the 2003 Player of the Year on the Web.com Tour with a pair of wins and three straight runner-up finishes.

With top-8 finishes in six of his last seven starts this year, Johnson played his way onto the U.S. Presidents Cup team. It will be his sixth U.S. team appearance in the last eight years.

Lots of good stuff from a Midwestern kid who has fought his way to the top.

THE LPGA SURVIVES ANOTHER TOUGH WEEK

Mother Nature has been a thorn in the side of several major golf tours this year. LPGA players have joked for a few years that if your area is having a drought, host an LPGA event and the rain will come.

The LPGA has done a tremendous job at following a motto that my high school wrestling team used - Improvise. Adapt. Overcome.

You want improvisation? Go back to their event in the Bahamas in May where rain rendered much of the course unplayable, so they played three 12-hole rounds just to get 36 holes in.

They've adapted to several weather problems such as the one in France this past weekend. Thursday's play was washed out and the forecast for the remainder of the weekend was ominous at best.

By Friday, it was announced the fifth and final major, the Evian Championship, was going to be cut to 54 holes. People argued, why not stretch it into Monday to try to get 72 holes in?

Reports from Evian on Monday stated that more rain was falling and the already- soaked course was again under water.

The players and tour officials have used the first two mottos to overcome the criticism that has come their way.

I, for one, applaud their "out of the box" thinking at these two events.

What those on the tour will have to overcome the rest of the year is they have just one event left in the United States. They head to Asia for five straight events and stop in Mexico for one before wrapping up the season in Florida.

Hopefully, there will be no improvising or adapting to bad weather the rest of the year.

MINI-TIDBITS

* The top-five players on the FedExCup points list -- Tiger Woods, Henrik Stenson, Adam Scott, Johnson and Matt Kuchar -- can all capture the FedExCup with a win this week at The Tour Championship. Remember, though, the points were reset and anyone in the field who wins the tournament can win the FedExCup, too. You only have to go back two years to see that. In 2011, Bill Haas started the week 26th on the points list, but won at East Lake, and those at the top of the standings didn't do enough, so Haas claimed the FedExCup, too.

* Sixteen-year-old amateur star Lydia Ko collected her sixth top-10 finish in 11 LPGA Tour tournaments at the Evian, and is 55-under par for those 11 events. She also has risen to fifth in the world rankings. It would be nearly impossible for LPGA commissioner Michael Whan to turn down her request to play on tour before she turns 18. When that request will come is anyone's guess?

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