Zach Johnson emerged from a group of seven players who were within one stroke of the lead with four holes to play to win the Valero Texas Open two weeks ago.
He became the third player to win multiple events this season on the PGA Tour, and through 21 tournaments nearly half of them (nine) had been won by a group of six veterans, each of whom already have a major championship on their resumes. That might be an ominous sign with this year's U.S. Open just three weeks down the schedule June 18-21 at Bethpage Black in Farmington, N.Y.
Johnson, who won The Masters in 2007, also topped the final leaderboard at the Sony Open in January.
"I feel very lucky," he said after winning the Texas Open, which dates to 1922 and is the third-oldest event on the PGA Tour. "The depth of these fields, they just keep getting stronger."
Geoff Ogilvy, who won the U.S. Open in 2006, and Phil Mickelson, a three-time major champion and four-time U.S. Open runner-up, also have multiple victories. Mickelson won the Northern Trust Open in late February and prevailed again three weeks later at the WGC-CA Championship, which is his first title in a World Golf Council event. However, Mickelson has suspended his PGA Tour schedule after his wife, Amy, was diagnosed with breast cancer and set to undergo surgery last week.
Ogilvy won the season-opening Mercedes Championship in early January and also the WGC- Accenture Match Play Championship in early March.
The other major champions who have posted victories are Retief Goosen at the Transitions Championships and Tiger Woods at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
The South African Goosen, a two-time U.S. Open winner, won for the first time on the PGA Tour in four years. Woods, who has 14 major titles including three U.S. Opens and continues his pursuit of Jack Nicklaus' record 18, won at Bay Hill for the sixth time overall to post his first victory anywhere since surviving an 18-hole playoff with a knee injury that later required surgery during last year's U.S. Open at Torrey Pines.
"It's been interesting watching Tiger's comeback and everything else," said Dan Sullivan, who is tournament director at the Memorial. "Some strong players have won while some other big-names like (1997 Memorial champion) Vijay (Singh), Sergio (Garcia) and (2004 Memorial winner) Ernie (Els) haven't. I think you'll see some more of the latter group on the list (of winners) soon enough, though."
Defending Memorial champion Kenny Perry won at the FBR Open in early February but lost his latest bid for a major when Angel Cabrera won a three-man playoff that included Perry and Chad Campbell at The Masters in mid-April. Cabrera also won the U.S. Open in 2007.
Until Johnson's victory in Texas, a few of the lesser-known stars enjoyed their time in the spotlight. Brian Gay won the Verizon Heritage, Jerry Kelly prevailed at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans and Sean O'Hair topped the field at the Quail Hollow Championship. A week later, Swede Henrik Steensen won the richest purse in golf at THE PLAYERS Championship. Kelly ended a 200-start drought with his first victory in seven years, and Gay's 10-stroke win is the largest on tour in nearly three years. O'Hair became just the third player in his 20s with multiple PGA Tour wins, which might be an indication that former "young guns" such as Garcia have now moved past those sorts of labels and need to show more than promise.
Englishman Paul Casey, who has eight international victories, won the Shell Houston Open for his first PGA Tour title. But Dustin Johnson, 24, earned his second in 36 starts at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Pat Perez won the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic with a dramatic eagle on the 72nd hole as another first-time winner, and Nick Watney won the Buick Invitational.
The other winners entering last week's HP Byron Nelson Championship and this week's Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, were first-timer Y.E. Yang at the Honda Classic and Mark Wilson at the Mayakoba Golf Classic.
After the Memorial, the PGA Tour moves to the Stanford St. Jude Championship in Memphis for the final event before the U.S. Open.
Phil Mickelson, who never has won at the Memorial Tournament, has two victories this season. Mickelson likely won't play at the Memorial. He has suspended his PGA Tour schedule indefinitely after his wife, Amy, was diagnosed with breast cancer.