Presidents Cup: Zach Johnson and Steve Stricker secure Ohio spot
Last Updated: 03/09/13 9:43am
Zach Johnson: Sneaked into America's Presidents Cup team for next month
Zach Johnson and Steve Stricker secured late berths in the American team for next month's Presidents Cup match against an International side at Muirfield Village in Ohio.
Johnson holed a 26-foot putt on the final green of the Deutsche Bank Championship on Monday to claim the final automatic spot in the US team, while Stricker booked his place with a runner-up finish.
Johnson's concluding round of 66 was only good enough to finish in a tie-for-27th, but it did move him above Webb Simpson in the Presidents Cup standings.
And to add to the drama, the duo were paired together on the final day in Boston, with Johnson needing to earn around $29,000 more than Simpson to displace the latter.
With four holes remaining they were level, only for Johnson to cover the closing quartet in two-under-par, while Simpson posted a brace of bogeys over the same stretch.
"I had texted Freddie earlier in the week. I didn't want one of his spots as a pick, I wanted to make the team on my own."
Simpson's 70 left him four shots adrift of Johnson and in a tie-for-53rd, with the 28-year-old suffering more bad news later in the day when Steve Stricker also overtook him to move into an automatic slot in Fred Couples's team.
Stricker finished second at the Arnold Palmer-designed TPC Boston to move from 11th to seventh in the Cup standings, while Simpson slipped from ninth to 11th.
Simpson must now hope that Couples will choose him as one of his two wild cards in the 12-man team which will be finalised on Wednesday.
Other possible wild card candidates include in-form youngster Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson and Jim Furyk who has been on every American team since 1997.
But former Masters champion Bubba Watson is not considered a possible selection.
The skipper of the International team, Nick Price, will also pick his two wild cards on the same day.
A delighted Stricker said: "It was a good week.
"I came here trying to get one of those last few spots on the team, knowing that I needed to play well.
"I had texted Freddie earlier in the week. I didn't want one of his spots as a pick, I wanted to make the team on my own.
"So I had great incentive, great motivation to play well this week. I'm excited to be part of another team and represent the USA at Muirfield."
The Presidents Cup will be played over four days from October 3.
Automatic qualifiers: United States - Tiger Woods, Brandt Snedeker, Phil Mickelson, Matt Kuchar, Jason Dufner, Keegan Bradley, Steve Stricker, Bill
Haas, Hunter Mahan, Zach Johnson
International team: Adam Scott (Australia), Jason Day (Australia), Charl Schwartzel (South Africa), Ernie Els (South Africa), Louis Oosthuizen (South Africa), Hideki Matsuyama (Japan), Branden Grace (South Africa), Graham DeLaet (Canada), Richard Sterne (South Africa), Angel Cabrera (Argentina)