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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, January 13, 2010

He got trophy, not attention


Advertiser Staff

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Zach Johnson took home the hardware and $972,000 for his victory.

Advertiser library photo

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While Hawai'i tried to help 18-year-old Tadd Fujikawa make history two groups ahead, Zach Johnson shot a smooth 5-under-par 65 in relative anonymity to win the Sony Open in Hawai'i by two shots at Waialae Country Club.

Fujikawa, a Moanalua High School senior, failed to match the magic of Saturday's 62 in the final round. He closed with 73 and tied for 32nd at 5-under 275, 10 strokes behind Johnson. His first PGA Tour paycheck worked out to $29,237.14.

After burying nine birdies Saturday, and sending the state into a frenzy, Fujikawa had just two birdies in his final round. He tried to hide his disappointment with that perpetual smile as the crowd roared while he walked to the 72nd hole. But since he qualified Monday, he had made it clear he was here to win, not make a cut or finish 32nd.

"I couldn't get anything going today. I had the same mindset. I was very excited about it, but it didn't happen today," he said. "It was still a great week. I'm looking forward to playing more tournaments. It just shows I can do it. I qualified and made the cut and put myself in contention. I'll keep doing that and things will work out."

Johnson, who called Fujikawa a "borderline phenom," has no doubt. But on this day and week he was the best golfer at Waialae. He won his fifth tournament including the 2007 Masters by playing the back nine in 4-under. He salvaged his front nine with six one-putts and called his birdies at the 10th and 11th the most critical points of his round.

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