PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — Dustin Johnson had to work a lot longer — and harder — for another victory at Pebble Beach.
With a birdie from the bunker on the 18th hole Sunday, Johnson became the first player in 20 years to win back-to-back Pebble Beach National Pro-Am titles, closing with a 2-over 74 for a one-shot victory over David Duval and J.B. Holmes.
It certainly wasn't as easy as last year, when Johnson was declared the winner after 54 holes because of rain.
"All you can ask for is a chance to win on the last hole," Johnson said.
On a day of stunning vistas with enough wind that only seven players broke 70, Johnson posted the highest final round by a Pebble Beach champion since Johnny Miller closed with a 74 in 1994. But when Johnson stepped onto the tee at the famous par-5 18th that runs along the Pacific Ocean, he knew a birdie would make up for everything.
"It's such a gorgeous hole," Johnson said. "If you miss it a little left, it's not so pretty."
He hammered the tee shot into the ocean breeze and beyond the small pine trees, put his approach into a simple lie in the front bunker and blasted out to just over 3 feet. Johnson lightly pumped his fist when he made the putt.
The 25-year-old Johnson is the first player since Tiger Woods to come out of college and win in each of his first three years on the PGA Tour.
ACE GROUP CLASSIC: At Naples, Fla., Fred Couples won the ACE Group Classic for his first Champions Tour, holding off Tommy Armour III by a stroke. Couples closed with an 8-under 64 to finish at 17-under 199 at The Quarry, while Armour — making his Champions Tour debut — matched the tour record for lowest score in relation to par with an 11-under 61. Couples made a 5-foot birdie putt on No. 17 and a tap-in par on 18 to wrap his first official victory since the PGA Tour's 2003 Houston Open. Armour's 11-under round tied Walter Hall (2002 AT&T Canada Senior Open) and Tom Purtzer (2004 Toshiba Senior Classic) for the lowest in tour history. After the second round was halted due to darkness Saturday night, Couples came back to play five holes Sunday morning to complete a 67 and take a two-stroke lead over Dan Forsman.
VICTORIAN PGA CHAMPIONSHIP: At Melbourne, Australia, Alistair Presnell shot a 12-under 60 to match the PGA Tour of Australasia record and win the Victorian PGA Championship by a stroke. Australians Kurt Barnes and David Bransdon had 67s to tie for second.
AVANTHA MASTERS: At Gurgaon, India, Australia's Andrew Dodt won the Avantha Masters for his first European tour title, closing with a 4-under 69 for a one-stroke victory over England's Richard Finch.