Big-hitting Dustin Johnson won a final-round duel with holder Matt Kuchar to win The Barclays Saturday and the runner-up sounded like it was almost unfair.
Guys like Dustin Johnson can make golf seem really easy, said Kuchar after finishing two shots behind his fellow American in the weather-shortened 54-hole event at Plainfield Country Club.
If you could have any one attribute as a golfer you would want to drive it like Dustin Johnson. You would want to hit it that far and that accurate. From there golf gets a whole lot easier, he told reporters.
Johnson's booming drives on the relatively short course gave him a big edge -- he outdrove playing partners Kuchar and Vijay Singh by 80 yards to make birdie at the par-four second -- but the winner was more pleased about his short game.
The putter has been lacking a little bit, said Johnson who won for the first time in 2011 after four top-four results including runner-up finishes at the British Open and WGC-Cadillac Championship.
This week I finally rolled in some putts.
The 27-year-old Ryder Cup player said practice was paying off for him.
I've been working hard on my putting, not necessarily making putts but getting it started on line, because I read the greens very well, said Johnson.
You can't control whether the ball goes in but you can control where you start it. I've just been working on starting it where I'm looking.
Five successful birdie putts on the front nine Saturday, including one from 30 feet, fell in for Johnson as he battled against Kuchar in the opening event of the FedExCup playoffs.
The highlight of the winner's round was an eagle two at the par-four fourth.
With forward tees making it a 314-yard hole, Johnson belted his tee shot into a greenside bunker and then holed out. He said it was the first time he had been in sand all week.
I didn't know what to expect, he said. But to me it seems like the harder the shots, the better I hit it.
It wasn't an easy bunker shot. I hit a pretty good follow through and it came out just right and went in the hole.
The win was Johnson's fifth on the U.S. Tour, the most by any current players under the age of 30.
Lacking thus far is a major championship crown although Johnson has come agonisingly close, at the 2010 U.S. Open and U.S. PGA Championship, and in this year's British Open.
A victory at this year's PGA led some to acclaim Keegan Bradley, 25, as the best young American player and Johnson was asked how that made him feel.
I don't care. I play golf. I don't really read the press too much, he said.
It doesn't really matter. I think I'm a pretty good, young American player.