Date: December 09, 2013
Author: Luke Sheehan, Omnisport

Johnson beats Woods in play-off

Zach Johnson has denied Tiger Woods a sixth win at his own event, edging him in a play-off in the Northwest Mutual World Challenge.

In a dramatic finale at Thousand Oaks in California, Johnson found water with his second stroke on the 18th hole – and looked set to lose out to Woods due to the resultant one-stroke penalty.

But the 37-year-old holed in with his wedge shot, landing it just beyond the hole before it spun back for a remarkable par.

Woods then chipped out of his lie in the bunker, leaving a short putt for the play-off – which he obliged with.

But the world number one would have been ruing coughing up a four-shot lead over Johnson heading to the back nine on Sunday, and Woods lipped out his putt which would have forced a second play-off hole – to hand Johnson his 24th professional tournament win and the $1million winners' cheque.

Johnson pulled off birdies on 11, 12, 16 and 17 to reel in Woods, finishing the 72 holes on 13 under, while Woods went even par on his back nine – bogeying the 14th but picking up a shot back on the 16th.

Tied for third were Bubba Watson and Matt Kuchar, with the latter carding the best final-round score at the Sherwood Country Club – hitting a five-under 67.

Kuchar would have been much closer to the lead than four shots had he not marred a solid week with a 76 on Saturday.

Watson was a picture of consistency throughout his four rounds, going 70-70-69-70.

Webb Simpson finished with his best round of the week, a four-under 68, to be outright fifth on seven under overall, six shots shy of Johnson and Woods.

Graeme McDowell and Ian Poulter were the best of the non-Americans, with the Northern Irishman outright sixth on five under and Poulter two strokes back in seventh.

Rounding out the top 10 were Jim Furyk, Bill Haas and Jason Day, while Rory McIlroy finished with a two-under 70 to be even-par overall and outright 11th.