Johnson beats Woods in World Challenge playoff|
Thousand Oaks, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - After a dramatic par on the final hole
of regulation, Zach Johnson two-putted for par on the first playoff hole
Sunday to defeat Tiger Woods and win the World Challenge.
Johnson dunked his approach shot on No. 18 in regulation, then holed his chip
shot for par. Woods got up and down from a greenside bunker to end alongside
Johnson at 13-under-par 275.
"The second shot it was a good number, it wasn't a big one," Johnson
explained. It was one of those where you feel like you can just hit it a
little hard, a little left and then you've got a difficult putt down the hill.
"I was trying to take a little off it, but I didn't complete my back swing. It
was just a bad swing. I got caught up in the moment. Certainly, the next shot
was a little too dramatic for me, but I guess I was teasing it the holes
previous. I was very lucky it went in."
Both players then found the fairway off the 18th tee. Woods, who shot 2-under
70 in the final round, dumped his second in the same bunker he was in at the
end of regulation. Johnson played his approach to about 30 feet.
After Woods blasted to about three feet, Johnson -- who closed with a 4-under
68 -- two-putted for par. Woods' par-saving putt then lipped out to give
Johnson the title.
"Either way, I'm going to have to make four, to win the tournament or
evidently get into a playoff. I was going to have to get up and down in either
case," Woods said about his bunker shot in regulation. "Then [Johnson] holed,
and I still had to make it, and I was able to the first time around."
Matt Kuchar (67) and Bubba Watson (70) shared third place at minus-9 at
Sherwood Country Club.
Webb Simpson shot 4-under 68 on Sunday to grab fifth at 7-under 281, while
2010 and 2012 winner Graeme McDowell posted a 3-under 69 to take sixth at
Woods started his round with birdies at two and five. Johnson matched Woods'
birdie at the fifth, but stumbled to a bogey on the 10th to fall four behind
his playing partner.
Johnson rolled in a 10-footer for birdie on the 11th and converted a 20-foot
birdie try on 12 to get within two. Woods three-putted for bogey on the 14th
and was just one ahead with four to go.
Woods got up and down for birdie on the par-5 16th, then Johnson knocked in
his short birdie try to remain one back.
Johnson stuffed his approach within five feet at No. 17 and knocked that in to
forge the tie.
At the last, Johnson dumped his approach in the water from the middle of the
fairway, but holed his par-saving chip. Woods got up and down from a bunker
after missing the green from the left rough.
That stunning par-save helped Johnson gain a playoff, where he beat the
tournament host after losing to Woods in 2007 and 2011.
NOTES: Johnson earned $1 million for the victory ... The final off-season PGA
Tour event is next weekend with the Franklin Templeton Shootout, where Sean
O'Hair and Kenny Perry are the defending champions.
12/08 19:07:06 ET