Hurricane Irene pays off handsomely for Johnson

Grand Strand residents were happy to see Hurricane Irene miss us to the north, but none more so than PGA Tour golfer Dustin Johnson.

Johnson fired a final-round 65 Saturday to earn a two-shot victory in the Barclays tournament in New Jersey, which was shortened to 54 holes due to Irene’s anticipated approach in Sunday’s final round.

But the heavy rains ahead of the storm almost arrived too early as Johnson and other players scrambled to complete their round. Had the third round not been completed, second-round leader Matt Kuchar would have been declared the winner.

Johnson saved himself some time on the par-4 fourth hole, chipping in for eagle to kick-start a run that saw him go 5 under in six holes to overtake Kuchar and seize the lead for good.

Johnson, who lives in Myrtle Beach and played at Coastal Carolina, earned more than $1.5 million with the win, but more importantly he put himself in first place in the Fed Ex Cup standings and its $10 million prize to the champion.

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