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Last Updated: Monday, 9 April 2007, 12:26 GMT 13:26 UK
Masters winner leaps up rankings
Zach Johnson speaks to the gallery after his Masters victory
Johnson birdied three of the last six holes to clinch victory at Augusta
Zach Johnson's surprise Masters victory has propelled him from 56th to 15th in the new world rankings.

The 31-year-old from Iowa City was the lowest-placed winner of the title since the rankings started in 1986.

But he is now the fourth-highest American on the list, behind world number one Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk (two) and Phil Mickelson (four).

Henrik Stenson remains the leading European at sixth with Ireland's Padraig Harrington in 10th spot.

Englishman Luke Donald is a further place back, while Justin Rose's encouraging Masters display sees him climb to 26th, two places behind David Howell.

Johnson's move into the big time has repaid the faith shown in him by a group of businessmen from his home state who gave him financial support in the early stages of his professional career.

After he left the amateur ranks in 1998, it was not until the end of 2003 that he made it on to the main circuit.

"I didn't have any money and was on the Hooters Tour. I never imagined being in this position in the slightest," he said after his two-stroke win in Augusta.

I don't hit it far, I can't overpower a course, but I think I am mentally tough

Zach Johnson

"I thought those were the best days of my life right there. Chicken wings and everything.

"But with that financial backing I got better and better every year. Looking back on it, it's amazing where I came from."

Johnson, whose average driving distance in the tournament was only 265 yards, made 11 birdies and five pars on the long holes and played the other 14 in 12 over par.

"I don't hit it far, I can't overpower a course, but I think I am mentally tough. And I had a game plan that I stuck to," he said.

"I didn't look at the leaderboards. I guess ignorance is bliss sometimes.

"After 15, my caddie said we had a couple of shots lead and I was able to maintain my focus and maintain an even keel.

"I stuck to my guns and I played my own game."

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