Johnson regains world number one ranking with win in Tennessee

Dustin Johnson made eagle at the last to clinch the St. Jude Classic golf tournament

Dustin Johnson made eagle at the last to clinch the St. Jude Classic golf tournament

It was a David and Goliath scenario, and - unlike the original tale - there was no upset this time around.

World number two Dustin Johnson shot a superb second round of 63 to take the halfway lead at the FedEx St Jude Classic on 10 under par.

Playing the 18th hole with a four-stroke lead on Sunday in Memphis, Tenn., Johnson holed out for eagle from 171 yards for a dynamic finish.

"I knew I was swinging well", Johnson said after his round.

"What a cool way to end the day to hole that shot on 18", Johnson said afterward. "Obviously a lot of good things happened this week".

Johnson opened with a birdie at the 10th.

Andrew Putnam started the final round with a share of the lead for the first time in his career. Sometimes those par putts are just as big if not bigger than the birdie putts.

"I'll definitely learn from this experience". He then put the finishing touches on his ninth win over the past two seasons with birdies on the 13th and 16th.

Dustin Johnson waves to fans after making eagle on the 18th to win the St Jude Classic on the US PGA Tour
JIM WEBER AP Dustin Johnson waves to fans after making eagle on the 18th to win the St Jude Classic on the US PGA Tour

That's the ideal way to cap off a win.

"It's going to feel a little different than a typical Sunday round of golf but I'm excited. Normally you have to drive it really well to succeed here but my iron shots have been good when I've been in the fairway and I've managed myself out of the rough really well".

In a promising tune-up for next week's U.S. Open, Johnson continued his excellent form with a five-under-par 65 on a scorching day at TPC Southwind in Memphis, Tennessee. Brandt Snedeker (70) and Retief Goosen (66) tied four others at 7 under.

Phil Mickelson cruised up the leaderboard with a 5-under 65 to finish t-12 at 6 under.

Reigning U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka fell into a tie for 30th at 3 under after a disappointing 3-over 73 in Round 4.

"I really enjoy the golf course", Mickelson said. "I just feel like it sets up well for me". "These past couple of weeks give me some momentum going into next week".

Johnson will be among the favourites to win the U.S. Open starting on Thursday at the Shinnecock Hills Golf Course in NY and he is confident of repeating his 2016 victory in the year's second major. If that statistic bothered Johnson, it didn't show in his relaxed demeanor on Sunday.

Dustin Johnson wants to sharpen his game for the U.S. Open.

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