Best finish for Lee; Johnson strolls to tournament win

Danny Lee hits his tee shot on the first hole during the final round of the Canadian Open in...
Danny Lee hits his tee shot on the first hole during the final round of the Canadian Open in Ontario yesterday. Photo: Getty Images

New Zealander Danny Lee produced his best finish of the PGA Tour season yesterday, finishing in a tie for sixth at the Canadian Open in Ontario.

Lee carded a 4-under 68 to finish at 16-under for the tournament, seven shots behind the runaway winner world No 1 Dustin Johnson.

Lee picks up $317,000 which will go a long way in ensuring he keeps his playing card for next year.

He has climbed 20 places to be 104th in the Fedex Cup standings.

He previous best results this year were tied for seventh at two tournaments, while his season earnings are now just over $1.7 million.

Johnson broke free from the leading pack with birdies on his opening two holes and stayed out front the rest of the way to capture the title and his third PGA Tour title of the season.

After two runner-up finishes, Johnson finally snatched the Canadian crown with a workmanlike final round of 6-under 66 that left the big-hitting American three shots clear of Kim Whee and An Byeong-hun.

The South Koreans both birdied the final hole for matching 69s to share second on 20-under

Keegan Bradley made a rousing final-round rally, carding the round of the day with an error-free 8-under 64 to finish alone in fourth a further shot back.

"Obviously I have a lot of fans out there thanks to Wayne and the family and I appreciate all the support,'' Johnson, who is married to Canadian ice hockey great Wayne Gretzky's daughter Paulina, said.

"With my ties to Canada, Paulina and her dad being Wayne Gretzky, I definitely get a lot of fans that pull for Wayne, pull for me.

"It definitely helped. The fans are great. I definitely feel like an honorary Canadian.''

Coming off his first missed cut of the year last week at the British Open, Johnson rebounded in some style to clinch his 19th career title with a winning tally of 23-under 265.

Johnson becomes the first player since Tiger Woods in 2009 to win three or more times in three consecutive years.

There was a logjam at the top of the leaderboard at the start of the final round with Johnson, An, Kim and Kevin Tway all sitting on 17-under and holding a four-shot advantage over the chasing pack.

Johnson's experience provided the early edge as he wasted no time breaking free with birdies at one and two, while the three co-leaders, all chasing their first PGA Tour titles, picked up early bogeys.

"It was definitely good to get off to a fast start,'' Johnson said.

"I birdied the first and had a really good look at eagle on the second. It's definitely good especially when the leaderboard is so bunched up.

"I just needed to get out in front. If I could get ahead I felt like I could play well and keep myself in the lead for the rest of the day which I did."

With his challengers off to a shaky start Johnson calmly seized control, opening up a three-shot lead after just four holes.

- RNZ and Reuters

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