Johnson finishes Deere in style
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Zach Johnson won on the second playoff hole Sunday at the John Deere Classic in Silvis, Ill., hitting his second shot from a fairway bunker to a foot for a birdie to beat Troy Matteson.
After Johnson and Matteson double-bogeyed the 18th on the first playoff hole, Johnson hit a 193-yard second shot from a bunker, again on the 18th. Matteson needed to sink a 43-footer to match Johnson's birdie, but didn't get the putt to the hole.
It was Johnson's second win of the season and ninth of his career.
"It just feels awesome," Johnson said. "This tournament has meant so much to me and my family, from when they gave me exemptions to being a part of its board."
Both players hit their second shots into the water on the first playoff hole. Matteson hit his tee shot into the trees on the right, then hit his lay-up into the pond. Johnson hooked his second shot into the pond, nearer the green, from a bunker on the left. They each stumbled to double-bogey-6.
Johnson birdied three of the final six holes in regulation, taking the lead until Matteson sank a 60-foot eagle putt on the par-5 17th.
Matteson had a double bogey on the 15th to hand Johnson the lead, but ran down the long putt while Johnson was on the 18th green to draw even. Johnson parred the 18th in regulation to shoot a bogey-free 6-under 65 and finish at 20-under 264. Matteson had a 69.
Johnson began his climb into contention with a 12-foot birdie putt on the seventh. He went ahead when Matteson, who had led since Thursday, sent his second shot over the 15th green and took four strokes from there for a double-bogey-6.
Three-time defending champion Steve Stricker played himself out of contention by driving into high grass on the 14th hole. He settled for bogey after a penalty drop, then bogeyed the next hole and finished four strokes back at 16-under, tying for fifth with Luke Guthrie.
• Scottish Open: Jeev Milkha Singh of India birdied the first playoff hole against Francesco Molinari to win in Inverness and earn a spot this week in the British Open. Singh, son of an Olympic 400-meter runner, knocked in a 10-footer on No. 18 for his fourth victory on the European Tour. Both players finished regulation play at 17-under 271, with Singh shooting a final round 5-under 67, and third-round leader Molinari shooting 72.
First Published July 16, 2012 12:00 am