Johnson cracks top 10 in world rank with victory in FedEx St. Jude Classic

Dustin Johnson, FedEx St. Jude Classic
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Dustin Johnson became the 17th different player to occupy a spot in the top 10 in the 23 weeks of 2012 so far.
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PGA.com news services

Series: PGA Tour

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Dustin Johnson is more than happy to worry about The Olympic Club and the U.S. Open once he arrives in San Francisco. For now, he's happy to celebrate snapping back from nearly three months off the PGA Tour.

Johnson won the St. Jude Classic on Sunday in his second event back after a back injury cost him nearly three months away from the PGA Tour, shooting a 4-under 66 that held off John Merrick by a stroke. It was Johnson's sixth career victory as he prepares to head to California to compete in the U.S. Open after tying for 23rd last year at Congressional.

WORLD RANKING

Luke Donald is now in his 48th week atop the world ranking since the end of May 2011.

Player

Points

1. Luke Donald

10.29

2. Rory McIlroy

9.01

3. Lee Westwood

8.16

4. Tiger Woods

6.71

5. Bubba Watson

6.21

6. Matt Kuchar

5.97

7. Justin Rose

5.67

8. Hunter Mahan

5.41

9. Jason Dufner

5.30

10. Dustin Johnson

5.09

The victory also boosted Johnson up into the top 10 in the world ranking, as he moved from his previous spot at 20th all the way up to No. 10. And on a week in which most of the top players focused on preparig for the U.S. Open, Johnson’s elevation was the only real movement within the top 10 in the rankings.

Luke Donald remains No. 1, with Rory McIlroy -- who had a chance to win in Memphis but stumbled on the final hole -- is still in second. Lee Westwood stayed in third, but closed the gap on McIlroy a bit by winning the Nordea Masters on the European Tour, while Memorial winner Tiger Woods held tight in fourth.

Masters champion Bubba Watson is fifth, with fellow American Matt Kuchar sixth. Justin Rose is seventh, with Americans Hunter Mahan in eighth and Jason Dufner in ninth.

The second 10 includes No. 11 Steve Stricker, No. 12 Martin Kaymer (down from 10th), No. 13 Phil Mickelson (down from 12th), No. 14 Webb Simpson (down from 13th), No. 15 Charl Schwartzel (down from 14th), No. 16 Louis Oosthuizen (down from 15th), No. 17 Adam Scott, No. 18 Zach Johnson (down from 16th), No. 19 Jason Day and No. 20 Rickie Fowler (down from 18th).

''I wasn't worried about the Open ...,'' Johnson said with a smile. ''I was worried about winning the FedEx. Next is a whole different week. It has nothing to do with this week. I'm going to go out and get a game plan together to play that golf course and stick with it. Hopefully just give myself a chance to win on Sunday.''

Johnson collected the winner's check of more than $1 million by lowering his score each round, finishing with 66 that was the lowest final round by a winner here since Brian Gay in 2009. He finished four birdies and a bogey, turning in two straight birdies on Nos. 16 and 17 to move atop the leaderboard on a rollercoaster day where as many as eight players had at least a piece of the lead at the TPC Southwind course.

His 9-under 271 total made him the first player not named Tiger Woods to win at least one title in each of his first five seasons out of college. His six career wins are the most of any of the tour players in their 20s.

''It means I'm playing good golf too,'' Johnson said. ''I come out every week and I try to just put myself in position to have a chance to win on Sunday.''

And his latest win came after Johnson pulled a muscle in his lower right back in March lifting a jet ski at his home. Rest was the best treatment, and he didn't swing a club for six weeks before returning to the tour last week at Memorial where he finished tied for 19th. In Memphis, he ranked third driving the ball and tied for fourth hitting greens in regulation.

''Well, it feels really good, especially having so much time off,'' Johnson said of his win.