PGA of America 2009 National Teacher of the Year
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Another Win for Zach
Johnson's two-stroke win over David Toms and Adam Scott made him $972,000 richer. Johnson, who tied for sixth at Kapalua, is 30 under over his last six rounds and the only player to post top-10s in each of the first two events of the 2009 season. The win is his second in six starts dating back to the Valero Texas Open.
"I feel very fortunate to get a W at any point in time, and obviously this one is sweet, the sweetest one I've had, because it's right now," Johnson said. "I think this game is getting harder and harder as far as the talent and just makes me want to work harder.
"Just knowing that what I did in the off-season and how we more or less sat down and put a direction down for 2009 and seeing it pay off this week, it's pretty awesome," Johnson said. "If anything, I've got to put this behind me and focus on my next tee shot, whenever that week is.
"However, I do want to resort back to some of these feelings and some of these thoughts, these confident thoughts, these peaceful thoughts that I have on the course so that I can continue a good rhythm."
Johnson is a competitor in the Corey Pavin mode -- a small of stature, gritty, never-give-up type of player who can hold his own against the big bombers. The Drake grad proudly calls himself an overachiever, and he seems to find a way to win.
"I don't know if that's what sets me apart at times, but competition is what drives me," he said. "So it doesn't really matter what it is; I want to win."
If someone had told Johnson while he was playing the Prairie Tour and struggling to find his way on the Nationwide Tour that he would have a major and four other PGA TOUR victories before his 32nd birthday, his response would have been one of disbelief.
"What are you on?' probably," Johnson suggested with a smile. "1998, I was very raw. Always a pretty decent putter, but I never was very consistent with any part of my game. You know, if someone would have said that ... there's no way I would have believed them."
Johnson and his instructor, Mike Bender, have crafted a consistent swing, and his caddy, Damon Green is one of the best on TOUR. The men who sponsored him early in his career became a "business family" and Johnson is never one to forget his roots.
"The team that I assembled, even way back when, and the team that's been assembled now, that's the reason why I'm sitting here," Johnson said. "I could not have done it myself. Given that, I'm proud of what I've done. I'm certainly encouraged that I've got the right system and I've got the right people, and 2009 looks great.
As always, everyone at the Mike Bender Golf Academy congratulates Zach on his latest victory! Read more about Zach's latest win at PGATour.com.
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