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Sunday, May 27, 2012
Johnson, Dufner play leapfrog in final stretch

By Randy Jennings

FORT WORTH, Texas -- Zach Johnson and Jason Dufner took turns exchanging two- and three-shot swings on the final 10 holes of a wild final round at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial on Sunday.

The multi-shot swings happened on five holes, two to the benefit of Dufner and three to the advantage of Johnson, who won his second Crowne Plaza title.

Here’s a look at the swing holes:

No. 9: Dufner double bogey 6 (-14); Johnson par 4 (-14)

Dufner’s approach shot from the rough didn’t carry far enough and spun back into the water, leading to a double bogey.  Said Dufner: “I had 108 yards into the wind. I though I was going to get a jumper out of that first cut. I felt like I could get a sand wedge into the middle of the green and get at least get 110, 115 yards out of it. It just didn’t come out the way I wanted and that’s a pretty big turning point.’’

No. 11: Dufner bogey 6 (-13); Johnson birdie 4 (-15)

Dufner’s approach from 106 yards on the par-5 found the greenside bunker. He failed to get his bunker shot close and two-putted for bogey. Johnson converted a 19-foot birdie putt.

No. 12: Dufner birdie 3 (-14); Johnson bogey 5 (-14)

Johnson hit the lip of a fairway bunker and left his ball in the trap, leading to a bogey. Dufner converted his biride putt set up by an approach to seven feet.

Said Johnson: “Damon [caddie] said hit sand wedge and wedge it out. I hit 8-iron. Then I hit 8-iron again. I had four or five more yards of room to cover the second one. That was a good five, I guess. And Dufner made a phenomenal birdie there. That was a real changer after the previous hole.''

Said Dufner: “I knew he was going to have a hard time making par from there, maybe even possibly bringing double bogey into play. That was one of the few times when I was in the first cut and that proved helpful. I was able to hit a nice shot and put a little bit of pressure on him.’’

No. 15: Dufner triple bogey 7 (-11), Johnson par 4 (-15)

Johnson made a routine par, hitting the green in regulation and two-putting. Dufner’s approach long and left found a water hazard and he needed two chips to find the putting surface after a penalty.

Said Dufner: “He made a great birdie on 14. That made me push the envelope a little bit there. I hit a 3-wood off the tee. The fairways were chasing a little bit more today. I’ve been underneath that bunker with a 3-wood, but today, just rolled in it. I had 142 yards with wind in and off the right. I hit a 9-iron probably a little further left than I was looking. Just pitched it on the back and it barely trickled over in the water and you are pretty much dead back there. It turned out to be a seven and the difference in the tournament.’’

Said Johnson: “He didn’t hit a good shot there. But he got a bad break. You don’t want to see that.’’

No. 18: Dufner par 4 (-11), Johnson double bogey 6 (-12)

Johnson was assessed a two-stroke penalty for failure to replace his ball after moving his mark. Happily for Johnson, his lead was large enough to absorb the penalty.

Said Johnson: “I’ve never done that before. Maybe I was caught up in the moment a little too much. I don’t know what would have happened if I had missed. I got lucky because they told me before I signed my scorecard.’’

Said Dufner: “In that moment, to be honest, I wasn’t thinking about him moving his coin back. I didn’t even realize he hadn’t moved his coin until I got in the scorer trailer and they informed me that he hadn’t.’’