FedExCup spotlight: Zach JohnsonHILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC - APRIL 19: Zach Johnson hits a shot on the 11th hole during the second round of the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links on April 19, 2013 in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. (Photo by Tyler Lecka/Getty Images)May 21, 2013
By Chris Dunham, PGATOUR.COM
Each week, PGATOUR.COM will take a look at one of the FedExCup contenders in the field and break down his past performances at that week's event, FedExCup history, and potential for success in the 2013 FedExCup chase.
Zach Johnson travels to the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial this week in need of a positive showing in Fort Worth now more than ever.
For the first time Johnson, currently 95th in the FedExCup standings, travels to Colonial ranked outside the top 70. His previous low at this point of the season was 67th in 2010, but Johnson left with his first of two victories at Colonial.
In his other two trips to the Crowne Plaza Invitational during the FedExCup era, Johnson has tied for ninth (2009) and finished alone in fourth (2011). If Colonial Country Club fits one player’s eye, surely it’s Johnson’s.
The 37-year-old has been a Playoff staple in the FedExCup’s six-year history, qualifying for each edition of the Playoffs and making it all the way to the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola on four occasions. Johnson has four top-20 finishes in the FedExCup competition and has won eight of his nine TOUR titles since the start of the 2007 season.
Four of his last six victories have come in the state of Texas (2008, 2009 Valero Texas Open and 2010, 2012 Crowne Plaza Invitational).
Off to a slow start in 2013, Johnson (who has averaged five top 10s per year since 2007) has yet to notch a top-10 finish and just posted his first top 20 in a full-field event in his last start at THE PLAYERS Championship. Johnson hasn’t posted two sub-70 rounds in the same event since the Humana Challenge in January.
That’s what makes this week’s event such an important stop for Johnson, who racked up 15 consecutive sub-70 rounds at Colonial before last year’s closing 2-over 72 (which would have been a 70 if not for a misplaced ball mark on the 72nd hole). If there’s one place for Johnson to build on his success at TPC Sawgrass, this is it.
Moving forward, there are a number of opportunities for Johnson to gain ground, but only one -- the John Deere Classic -- compares to this week’s event. At TPC Deere Run, Johnson has three top-3 finishes in his last four tries and will be defending his title this year.
With 13 weeks and some great events remaining, it’s far too early to count Johnson out of the FedExCup race. But with one of his biggest and best opportunities to gain ground coming up this week, we should learn a lot about Johnson’s prospects for threatening in the Playoffs in the next four days.
Johnson's FedExCup finishes 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 7th 131st 6th 17th 40th 12th FedExCup highlights • In 2008, Johnson occupied the top spot in the FedExCup standings twice for a total of nine weeks and went on to a career-best sixth-place finish. • Johnson has played in 20 of a possible 24 Playoff events including 11 top-25 finishes and four trips to East Lake for the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola. • He has entered the Playoffs inside the FedExCup top 10 three times. • Since the start of the FedExCup competiton (2007) Johnson has racked up eight of his nine career victories, winning a event that awards FedExCup points in four of those six years. • Johnson's best finish in a Playoff event was a tie for second at the 2007 TOUR Championship. Johnson's Crowne Plaza results, FedExCup standings Year FedExCup before Crowne Plaza
2009 1st T9 72.5 1st 2010 67th Won 500 14th 2011 62nd 4th 135 39th 2012 18th Won 500 3rd