Zach Johnson Profile
|Born||Feb 24, 1976|
|Birthplace||Iowa City, USA|
At first glance Johnson is a very tidy PGA Tour player, but he’s not only landed two Major Championships, he won them at golf’s two most iconic venues.
When Zach Johnson claimed victory early in his rookie year of 2004 on the PGA Tour many were impressed with his game but very few would have predicted the quality of the career he would go on to have.
Lacking the firepower of many modern golfers, Johnson utilises a neat game that has few weaknesses and the ability to think his way around the golf course.
That combination has allowed him to record 12 victories on the PGA Tour which might be a slightly higher total than many might have predicted, but not outlandish.
However, the fact that two were Major Championships really did surprise the golfing world.
The first, moreover, came on an Augusta National layout (in 2007) supposedly vulnerable only to the biggest hitters in the game.
Eight years later he was at it again, this time on The Old Course in St Andrews, winning the Open. Another great course, another occasion when the long drivers were supposed to thrive.
In early 2022 it was announced that Johnson would captain the American team at the 2023 Ryder Cup.
Born and raised in Iowa, Johnson took up the game aged 10 and attended Drake University in Des Moines.
He was the number two player on the roster, but not a standout college or amateur performer.
After joining the pro ranks in 1998 Johnson spent a number of years on the mini tours, particularly the Prairie Tour and Hooters Tour.
His first crack at the second tier Korn Ferry Tour (then the Nationwide Tour) in 2000 was a struggle: he made just two cuts in his first nine starts with a best of T50th.
It was a completely different picture three years later, however.
In fact, he landed nine top three finishes in 2003, including two victories, to top the money list with a then-record total and he didn't slow down.
Having made six of eight cuts in his first year on the PGA Tour he claimed the Bellsouth Classic, finishing one blow clear of Mark Hensby.
Through until the end of 2006 Johnson didn't add to his win tally, but he was seven times a top three finisher and consistent enough to qualify for a Ryder Cup debut in 2006.
Ahead of the 2007 Masters, Augusta National was once again viewed beyond the grasp of regular hitters such as Johnson.
Furthermore, the conditions were cold, wet and windy.
Johnson was having none of these disadvantages. In fact, he decided that he would lay up on every par-5 all week and his ploy worked superbly as he topped the scoring on the long holes with 11 birdies and no dropped shots.
He sat inside the top five all week, but never closer than fourth until a final round 69 saw him overtake Stuart Appleby, Justin Rose and Tiger Woods to clinch a first Major Championship and a Green Jacket.
A few weeks later he won the Bellsouth Classic for a second time which meant that all three of his PGA Tour wins, at that stage, had come in the state of Georgia.
A confirmed winner
Over the next few years Johnson would prove himself right at home in elite level competition.
He won the Texas Open in 2008, defended that title a year later after also winning the Sony Open, and added the Crowne Plaza Invitational in 2010.
He missed out on a win in 2011, but won the Crowne Plaza again in 2012 and soon afterwards added the John Deere Classic.
With victories in the 2013 BMW Championship and 2014 Tournament of Champions he made it 11 wins in 11 seasons on the PGA Tour - a superb strike rate.
In eight of those campaigns he ended the year in the top 25 of the rankings, four times in the top 10.
He also won the 2013 Hero World Challenge, taking down the tournament host Tiger Woods in extra holes.
More Major glory
With 10 top 20 finishes, six of them top 10s, Johnson was in fine form heading to the 2015 Open in St Andrews.
He had also finished top 10 on the linksland in two of his three previous visits to the championship, but once again he was well off the radar of many.
The Old Course is known for suiting big hitters and Dustin Johnson was the name on everyone's lips.
Johnson did win the Open, but the chosen name added before it on the Claret Jug was Zach.
Dustin led after a round one 65, but Zach was just one blow behind in a six-way share for second in perfect conditions.
Flooding caused chaos on Friday and when the second round was completed on Saturday Dustin led on 10-under with Zach three back.
Sunday's third round saw Dustin fall out of contention and Zach appeared to be caught in the pack, sitting in a nine-way share of sixth on 9-under, but just three back of the lead.
The leaders laboured in Monday's delayed final round allowing Johnson and Marc Leishman to card 6-under-par 66s to set a clubhouse target which only Louis Oosthuizen matched.
In the four-hole playoff which followed Johnson birdied the first two holes to open up a gap which he never gave up.
The Claret Jug was his in the Home of Golf.
The Ryder Cup
He made his debut in the 2006 match and played again in 2010, 2012 and 2014, experiencing defeat every time. Only in his fifth match, in 2016, did he taste victory.
He owns an 8-7-2 record which may not be overly impressive, but in an era of poor American returns it displayed a certain durability.
He also played the Presidents Cup four times, winning on each occasion.
He will captain Team USA in at the 2023 match in Rome.
Johnson's personal life
Johnson is married to Kim and they have three children, Will, Wyatt and Abby Jane.
Johnson is a committed Christian who converted from Catholicism to his wife's Baptist church.
The Zach Johnson Foundation is dedicated to children and families in need in Cedar Rapids where he grew up.
The family live in St Simon's Island, Georgia.
Johnson's net worth
Johnson's net worth is widely estimated at $5million.