Dustin Johnson fired a six-under par 65 on Saturday to win The Barclays by two strokes over fellow American Matt Kuchar in an event reduced to 54 holes due to an approaching hurricane.
The $US7.5 million ($A7.2 million) tournament, the first of the US PGA season-ending playoffs, would have reverted to 36-hole scores had bad weather from oncoming Hurricane Irene prevented the third round at Plainfield Country Club from being finished.
But Johnson, who parred every hole on the back nine after making his move early, was able to complete 54 holes on 19-under 194, two ahead of 36-hole leader Kuchar, who fired a 68 on Saturday alongside Johnson in the last group.
“We got lucky,” Johnson said. “The weather held up for us long enough.”
Johnson took the $US1.44 million ($A1.38 million) winner’s prize from his fifth career triumph and rose to fourth in the world rankings as well as first in the US PGA playoff points chase for a top prize of $US10 million ($A9.6 million).
He became the first player since Tiger Woods to win at least one title in each of his first four PGA campaigns, ending a win drought of almost 12 months.
“I feel like I’ve played pretty well all year but just haven’t quite been able to get that win,” Johnson said. “The putter has been lacking a little bit. This week I finally rolled some putts, so this feels really good.”
Fiji’s Vijay Singh and American Brandt Snedeker, who fired a final-round 61, shared third on 197 with American Jonathan Byrd another stroke adrift in fifth.
Sharing sixth on 199 were England’s Brian Davis and Justin Rose, Colombia’s Camilo Villegas and South Korean Yang Yong-Eun.
Jason Day and Aaron Baddeley were the best placed Australians, finishing seven shots off the pace.
Day and Baddeley will be joined by compatriots Adam Scott, Robert Allenby, John Senden, Marc Leishman, Geoff Ogilvy and Greg Chalmers at the next US PGA play-off series event, the Deutsche Bank Championship in Massachusetts.
Only the top 100-ranked players qualify for reach of the events.
South African star Ernie Els, who would have been eliminated from the playoff hunt had scores reverted to 36 holes, fired a 67 to jump from 118th in the points chase to 99th, booking himself a place in next week’s event.
“You’re trying to survive,” Els said. “It’s desperation. It’s sadistic. In a way it’s fun, if you’re into that.”