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December 13 2013

8:00 AM

No. 18 player to watch: Zach Johnson

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With the PGA TOUR set to resume its 2013-14 season the first week of January, PGATOUR.COM is previewing the top 30 players to watch heading into the new year. We'll count down one a day in December until we unveil our No. 1 player to watch on Dec. 30, the Monday of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.

Check out this preview of No. 18 Zach Johnson and join the discussion below on how you think he'll perform in 2014. Click here for more on the top 30 players to watch in 2014.


NO. 18 PLAYER TO WATCH: ZACH JOHNSON

2014 OUTLOOK: Zach Johnson picked up the 10th PGA TOUR win of his career in 2013, something even he had a hard time wrapping his head around. “Ten wins is -- I'm not so sure I even understand what that is and what that means, especially considering whose era I'm playing in, with Tiger and obviously Phil and some of those guys,” Johnson said after his victory at the BMW Championship. To put Johnson’s career in perspective, he has as many wins on TOUR as Adam Scott. Not bad -- even with a four-year age difference -- given the pedigree of each player. Johnson has steadily progressed each of the last three years, however, and given his knowledge and work ethic there’s no reason to think that trend won’t continue in 2014. -- Brian Wacker

THUS FAR THIS SEASON: Johnson made two starts, in Las Vegas and at Sea Island, tying for 40th and 16th, respectively.

EXPERT VIEWS
FANTASY OUTLOOK
Humbled by a slow start due to inconsistent putting, he eventually came through and in a big way in 2013. Borderline first-round value that leans toward the benefit of the doubt because he'll approach the mid-20s in total starts. -- Rob Bolton
ON THE MARK
Zach is another player who, when he gets the bit between his teeth and is in contention, will find a way to close successfully. Zach hits a penetrating and pretty tight draw on most shots and this makes him good in all conditions. A player in the Steve-Stricker sort of ilk, Zach’s only weakness is that he is not as long off the tee, but he makes up for that with his accuracy and quality iron play. -- Mark Immelman
COURSE PREFERENCE
When Zach got off to a slow start in 2013 he told me it was due to “a lack of dedication to the fundamentals.” He won’t make that mistake again. Johnson loves three specific courses and tournaments on the PGA TOUR schedule: THE PLAYERS Championship at TPC Sawgrass, the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial and the John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run. None are overly long and all reward game management, providing a perfect match for Johnson. -- Fred Albers
INSIDE THE NUMBERS 
Went on a tear to finish 2013, skyrocketing in stats rankings from pre-John Deere Classic to season’s end. Moved up 94 spots in scrambling (to 54th), 71 spots in strokes gained-putting (30th), 69 spots in greens hit (15th), 67 spots in ball-striking (27th), 46 spots in total driving (58th) and 30 spots in proximity to the hole (18th). -- Bill Cooney

VIDEO VAULT

Super Slo-Mo Drive: Zach Johnson

The drive of PGA TOUR winner Zach Johnson captured at The Barclays 2012, is analyzed by four-time PGA TOUR winner and Emmy-winning broadcaster Billy Kratzert.
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