US golfer Johnson rallies to win Colonial

Former Masters champion Zach Johnson(AFP photo)

FORT WORTH, Texas (AFP) – Former Masters champion Zach Johnson fired a six-under par 64 to come from behind and win the 6.2 million dollar PGA Colonial by three shots.

American Johnson finished at 21-under-par 259 to set a tournament record Sunday and finish ahead of third-round leader Brian Davis in a round that included two late play suspensions less than an hour apart.

"I love it. There's a reason I love playing here and keep coming back," said Johnson, who posted his seventh career PGA Tour victory. "The course does suit me as far as shot-making. I just feel honored."

Britain's Davis parred 10 straight holes before making bogey at 18 to finish with a 68 and sole possession of second on 262.

Johnson rolled in a 14-foot birdie putt at the 17th hole to take a two-shot lead, but before he teed off for his par at the closing 18th play was suspended for the second time because of approaching bad weather. The second delay lasted 45 minutes.

"As far as momentum and a big putt, that was a big one," Johnson said of his effort at 17. "I didn't have a number in my head, but I figure if you get to 21 (under), you have got a pretty good chance."

When play was halted the first time, Johnson had hit his tee shot at 15 into the right rough.

When play resumed he knocked his approach shot onto the green and made the putt to get back to 20-under par.

"Quite frankly, the biggest one, I thought, was probably on 15," he said. "It calmed me down."

Jeff Overton and Ben Crane both shot 67 to finish tied for third at 17 under. Scott Verplank (65) and Bryce Molder (70) were another shot back.

It was Johnson's first PGA Tour victory since San Antonio in May of last year.

His best finish through 12 tournaments this season had been a tie for 12th at the Sony Open in Hawaii the second week of the season.

He collected a winner's check for 1.11 million dollars and a the tournament's trademark plaid jacket on Sunday.

He also beat Kenny Perry's tournament record total of 261 in 2003 and again in 2005.

Davis was 19-under with a two-stroke lead after a five-foot putt at the seventh hole. But that was his last birdie of the round. His last-ditch nine-foot birdie try at the 17th slid just past the cup after the delays.

Davis remained in search of his first US PGA Tour title. He was in a playoff at Hilton Head earlier this year when he called a two-stroke penalty on himself to see that chance evaporate.

"Zach won the tournament, I didn't lose it," Davis said. "It was a weird feeling walking up 18 knowing you can't win."

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