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Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla, - Zach Johnson shot 1-under 71 to finish 7-under, tied for 13th at the Players Championship on Sunday at TPC Sawgrass. He ended up five shots out a playoff that Rickie Fowler eventually won on the fourth extra hole.
'It was firm, the course was playing good, everything you'd expect,” Johnson said. 'It's basically a major golf course with the conditions. It's what you'd expect late in the week.”
The Players is often referred to as the fifth major for its grand stage and demanding layout.
Unfortunately any hope of a Sunday charge for Johnson was dashed on the first hole when he found the green-side bunker. A poor bunker shot into the rough resulted in a double bogey.
Johnson rebounded by holing his next bunker shot on the third for birdie and made another birdie on the fourth to get back to 6-under.
But the Cedar Rapids native gave those shots right back on five and six with bogeys, killing any momentum. He finished his opening nine with a 2-over 38 and followed that with three birdies on the back for a 33.
Johnson appreciates Sawgrass' challenges.
'It's a golf course that demands everything, that's what (designer) Pete Dye has done,” Johnson said. 'He's created a masterpiece that's stood the test of time and that's why the leaderboard was bunched.
'Once you think you have it, it's going to chew you up a little bit.”
Johnson will take the next week off then head to the familiar confines of the Crown Plaza Invitational at Colonial where he won in 2010 and 2012, his seventh and eighth career wins, respectively. The following week he'll compete at the AT&T Byron Nelson Championship, an event Johnson hasn't played since 2005.
Johnson's caddie Damon Green will try to qualify for next month's U.S. Senior Open later this month. He played that national championship most recently in 2012.
Should he succeed, he would play the week after both he and Johnson head to Chambers Bay near Seattle for the U.S. Open.
'I want him to make it there but I also don't want him to make it,” Johnson said with a wry smile.
Johnson typically plays the week after the U.S. Open, at the Travelers Championship, and would be down a caddie should Green get into the Senior Open.
Time will tell what Team Johnson will do.