No. 10: Zach Johnson
Veteran playing best golf of his life
December 21, 2015
Veteran playing best golf of his life
In a game that is increasingly being dominated by younger players, Zach Johnson faces a milestone 40th birthday in February. Not that the number matters, though.
Johnson continues to play as well as any of them, stopping Jordan Spieth's major streak at The Open Championship last year and leading the U.S. Presidents Cup team to another victory as he went 3-0-1. He's finished in the top 30 in the FedExCup each of the last four seasons, in fact, winning five times and earning more than $16 million in the process.
The playoff victory at St. Andrews, where Johnson made up three strokes in the final round and ended up beating Louis Oosthuizen and Marc Leishman in a playoff, was his second major championship. Johnson also won the 2007 Masters so he's halfway through to the career Grand Slam.
Johnson only played once during the fall at The RSM Classic near his Sea Island home. He'll get to start his season at another seaside resort in Maui at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions that he won two years ago.
-- Helen Ross
Each day in December, PGATOUR.COM will count down our Top 30 Players to Watch in 2016, with No. 1 unveiled on Dec. 30.
SOCIAL MEDIA STATUS
Zach Johnson is one of the best players on TOUR when it comes to keeping his fans in the loop about what is going on in his life. That turns into a perfect combination when he wins one of the year's biggest events.
As an Iowan, this Jug has multi-purposes... pic.twitter.com/dROnlb3uwZ— Zach Johnson (@ZachJohnsonPGA) August 2, 2015
JOHNSON IN THE FEDEXCUP
Zach enters 2016 ranked 208th in the standings after a T75 at The RSM Classic. After finishing sixth last season, Johnson is as good a pick as any to take home the FedExCup.
PAST RESULTS: 2015 ... 6th | 2014 ... 18th | 2013 ... 5th | 2012 ... 12th | 2011 ... 40th
BY THE NUMBERS
Check out Zach's rankings for the 2014-15 season in the strokes gained categories.
INSIGHT FROM OUR INSIDERS
PGATOUR.COM's insiders look at Zach Johnson's upcoming year from their expert vantage points.
TOUR INSIDER by Brian Wacker
What does Johnson have in common with Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Sam Snead, Nick Faldo and Seve Ballesteros? They’re the only ones to have won majors at Augusta National and St. Andrews, the latter of which came for Johnson this year when he beat Louis Oosthuizen and Marc Leishman in a playoff to capture the Claret Jug. How did Johnson amass 12 career victories, including two majors? By not trying to be something that he isn’t. He’s accurate off the tee and a fantastic wedge player, two traits he has maximized into what will be a Hall of Fame career when it’s over.
EQUIPMENT INSIDER by Jonathan Wall
Made one of the biggest equipment changes of the year at Valero Texas Open when he shelved his SeeMore FGP — the same model he used for more a decade to win to 11 TOUR titles, including the 2007 Masters — for a Titleist Futura X5R. Johnson went back to the trusty putter at the Masters and won his second major title with it in the bag at The Open Championship. Added a course-dependent Titleist 712U 3-iron to the bag in Scotland.
STATS INSIDER by Charlie Kane
At 39, Johnson had a career high in top-10s last season with 10. He has ranked in the top 15 in driving distance in each of the last nine seasons. Johnson ranked in the top 10 in driving accuracy, scoring average, three-putt avoidance and par-4 scoring. He hasn't ranked better than 141st in driving distance since 2006.
STYLE INSIDER by Greg Monteforte
Zach Johnson has always had a knack for making high tech fabrics look effortless and natural. Look for the stylish and athletic setups from ZJ to continue in 2016. Smaller, more understated belt buckles, though, would allow more attention to fall on his threads.
FANTASY INSIDER by Rob Bolton
The conservative among us stop short of expecting victory from even the best golfers when committing to them. However, he's logged at least one win in eight of the last nine seasons. Razor-sharp precision on approach has set the stage for a decade-plus worth of success, but his putting has been squirrelly for multiple stretches in recent years. Still, he's overcome it every time and quickly at that. Fresh off a career-high 10 top 10s. The Iowan is still the automatic investment for one-and-doners at the John Deere Classic.