The final Northwestern Mutual World Challenge at Sherwood Country Club was a doozy, as Tiger Woods missed a 4-foot par putt to lose to Zach Johnson on the first playoff hole. Here’s the skinny on a dramatic final round:
The leaderboard: Zach Johnson and Tiger Woods at -13, Bubba Watson and Matt Kuchar at -9, Webb Simpson (-7).
What it means: It’s sweet redemption for Johnson, who was up by one with two to play against Woods in 2011, only to lose by one. This is his second win in his last five starts, dating to the FedEx Cup playoffs, when he won the BMW Championship. Johnson’s victory denied Woods his sixth title of the season. In this event, Woods has five wins and five other runners-up.
Round of the day: It was a shocking finish to this one, as Woods had a four-shot lead with eight holes to play but was all square as he stood on the 18th tee. Woods had a hanging lie from the left rough on the home hole, and his second shot found the greenside bunker. It looked like Woods would be bailed out by Johnson, who, from the middle of the fairway, hit a semi-shank into the water. But Johnson followed up that terrible shot by holing his wedge shot from the drop zone. Woods had to get up-and-down from a difficult spot in the bunker to force a playoff, and he did, splashing out to 2 feet.
In the playoff, both players found the fairway off the tee but Woods again found the bunker with his approach, while Johnson hit his second shot about 25 feet left of the cup. Woods blasted out to 4 feet, but his par putt carried too much pace and spun out.
Best of the rest: Matt Kuchar squandered his chance to win with a Saturday 76, but he rebounded in the final round with the low score of the day, a 5-under 67 to finish joint third. Webb Simpson made six birdies en route to a 4-under 68 that vaulted him to solo fifth.
Shot of the day: After nearly holing out iron shots on Nos. 16 and 17, Johnson spun his wedge shot into the cup on the 72nd hole to make par and force a playoff. Said Johnson, “I guess I was just teasing it the holes previous.”
Quote of the day: “I don’t know how the last three iron shots didn’t go in the hole. It was pretty impressive what he did on 16, 17 and 18, and he got me.” – Woods, on Johnson