• St Jude Classic, Round Four

Double bogey finish shatters McIlroy's hopes of victory

ESPN staff
June 10, 2012
Rory McIlroy finished three shots off the pace © PA Photos


Rory McIlroy was left to rue a stuttering finish as Dustin Johnson claimed victory in the St Jude Classic in Memphis.

McIlroy, who is gearing up for the defence of his US Open title next week, had been in a commanding position after reaching the turn in 32, but a double-bogey finish shattered his hopes of victory.

Making his second start since a three-month absence with a back injury in March, Johnson shot a final round 66 to reach nine-under, holding off John Merrick by a stroke.

Standing on the 18th tee on eight-under, McIlroy needed a birdie to force Johnson to a play-off, but shanked his drive into the lake, then missed a four-foot bogey putt as he was forced to settle for a double bogey and a share of seventh place.

Johnson, meanwhile, ended with a birdie-birdie-par finish as Chad Campbell and Nick O'Hern also found the water with their tee-shots. Merrick had the chance to force a play-off, but his chip kissed the lip of the cup before bouncing out.

"I was at home for 10 weeks or something - it was tough," Johnson said. "Last week I was a little rusty and didn't finish off my rounds, but this week I finished a lot better."

McIlroy, who led the way at the halfway stage, resumed the day one behind Merrick, Davis Love III and O'Hern, but birdies at two, four, seven and 11 saw him move two clear.

But his lead faded as he found the water on the 12th, and three-putted the 14th for a bogey. A brilliant birdie at the 17th thrust him back up into contention, but his tee-shot on the final hole ended his hopes of victory.

Campbell made a bogey at the last to tie for third with Ryder Cup captain Love, Ryan Palmer and O'Hern.

Padraig Harrington shot a 69 to finish 13th, while Greg Owen's final-round 65 was good enough for a share of 11th place.

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