Sports Outside the Beltway

Dustin Johnson wins his second consecutive Pebble Beach National Pro-Am

He birdied the 18th hole to win by one shot. From AP-

Dustin Johnson had to work a lot longer — and harder — for another victory at Pebble Beach.

With a birdie from the bunker on the 18th hole Sunday, Johnson became the first player in 20 years to win back-to-back Pebble Beach National Pro-Am titles, closing with a 2-over 74 for a one-shot victory over David Duval and J.B. Holmes.Pebble Beach Golf

It certainly wasn’t as easy as last year, when Johnson was declared the winner after 54 holes because of rain.

“All you can ask for is a chance to win on the last hole,” Johnson said.

Johnson posted the highest final round by a Pebble Beach champion since Johnny Miller closed with a 74 in 1994. But when he stepped onto the tee at the famous par-5 18th that runs along the Pacific Ocean, he knew a birdie would make up for everything.

Johnson was the only one of the top 3 finishers to birdie 18. Duval, gunning for his first victory in almost 9 years, pitched it onto the green but too much backspin left the ball on the green’s front edge. Holmes, who has the length to reach 18 in 2, took that out of the equation with a bad drive. His pitch to the green was better than Duval’s but he couldn’t make the putt either. Johnson has to think today’s win was redeeming. He won last year’s tournament after the final round was canceled due to weather.

I was pulling for Duval today. He’s still trying to get his career back together. Despite a 2nd place finish at the U.S. Open in 2009, he was unable to make the top 125 money winners. He won’t ever be again the #1 player in the world like he was for a time in 1999 but a win would say he made some type of comeback.

The PGA Tour returns to Pebble Beach in June for this year’s U.S. Open.

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