Zach Johnson zooms in to win the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge from Tiger Woods.
Zach and Trophy / AFP
Zach carded a final round -4 under par 68 in the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge to tie Tiger Woods at -13 under par at the top of the leaderboard, forcing a play-off. Tiger finished with a -2 under par 70.
Zach rallied from four shots behind with eight holes to play, and then holed out from a drop area for par on the last hole to force a play-off, and beat Tiger, the No. 1 player in golf at the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge.
It was a storybook ending at Sherwood Country Club that had every element a real golf fan could want.Tiger Woods with a commanding lead before a record crowd, clutch shots that kept getting better with every hole and a finish no one saw coming.
Zach Johnson never looked the part of a winner until he was posing with the trophy, after his shot from a free drop area went into the cup.
“I feel very fortunate and somewhat lucky,” he said talking about his shot, and adding it took three bounces, the last one just beyond the hole, and it stopped and spun back a few inches into the cup. A little too dramatic for me. It’s probably No. 1 recovery shot. You know, I don’t know where it will rank. I can think of a number of shots that I had to execute and I came through. I’ll take pride in the fact that I played against the best, and I got one.”
Of Tigers reaction to his miracle shot Zach said
”Great playing, we both said that. I mean, what you’d expect. Tiger asked What’s wrong with the middle of the green?’ You know, which is exactly what you should say. But I mean, he was very gracious, as he usually is.”
Tiger missed a short putt in the play-off, handing the trophy to Zach;
“I was struggling blocking putts, and today was a perfect example of that. I blocked a lot of putts today and just had a tough time finding my release point, and I just could not find my release point, no matter what I tried to do to adjust and just wasn’t there. So the last hole, you know, being left‑to‑right and just didn’t want to block that one, and I didn’t. I over‑released it. You’re making adjustments all day. It’s part of the game, whether it’s swing or putting stroke or chipping. Whatever it is, whatever facet of the game. The game is fluid. You’re always making adjustments and trying to find something that clicks, and if it does click, you run with it, and you try and monitor it, like I did on Friday. I think I did a pretty good job of that on Friday, and I had it going that day.”
On a side note Matt Kuchar and Bubba Watson tied for third place at -9 under par.