Dustin Johnson defeats Jordan Spieth in playoff at Northern Trust after huge comeback

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Dustin Johnson defeats Jordan Spieth in playoff at Northern Trust after huge comeback

PGA Tour

Dustin Johnson defeats Jordan Spieth in playoff at Northern Trust after huge comeback

Here is a recap of the final round of The Northern Trust, played at Glen Oaks Club in Old Westbury, N.Y.:

WINNER: You couldn’t ask for a better show. WOW.

Jordan Spieth drained a 19-footer for par at the par-3 17th to stay in a tie for the lead before Dustin Johnson curled in a 17-footer for par to essentially force a playoff at the next (Spieth had a 2-footer for par, which he proceeded to drain).

In the ensuing extra-holes session, the pair returned to the par-4 18th and the fireworks didn’t stop. Spieth pumped one down the fairway 315, before Johnson rocketed one some 340 yards on an aggressive line left. Spieth’s second finished on the back fringe some 25 feet away while Johnson cozied a wedge from 95 yards to 4 feet.

Spieth’s putt missed low, and Johnson rolled his in for birdie and the win.

Wow was it a fight, but Johnson got it done. The World No. 1 earns his fourth win of the 2016-17 season and his first since his tumble down the stairs and subsequent withdrawal at the Masters. Johnson, 33, overall has 16 PGA Tour wins now.

The final hour was so exciting, but this was a compelling duel the entire back nine.

Spieth started the day up by three and was five ahead with 13 to play, but it was an absolute battle after that. Spieth double bogeyed the sixth to see his lead drop to three and then it was down to one after a two-shot swing at the ninth (a Johnson birdie to a Spieth bogey).

Johnson officially tied it up with a birdie from 10 feet at the 10th. Both birdied the 13th to move to 12 under and Spieth took back the solo lead with a birdie at 14 from 8 feet. Johnson answered with a 17-footer for birdie to tie the lead at 13 under.

Spieth missed a 6-footer for birdie to grab back the solo lead at 16, but he made that huge 19-footer for par to sneak away with a share of the lead to the 72nd hole.

And we’ve already talked about the continuing drama from there.

This denies Spieth his own fourth win of the season (and 12th PGA Tour victory overall) and marks the first time he’s ever blown a 54-hole lead of two strokes or more on the PGA Tour. He entered the tournament nine for his last 10 in finishing off 54-hole leads in his PGA Tour career.

Not fun to lose this way, but Spieth still has three wins (including a major) this season and is only 24 years old. So, truly no losers on this day, except those who crave boredom.

JUST MISSED: Spieth, Jordan. See above.

SHOT OF THE DAY: It just snuck in, but what a putt at the 72nd from Johnson to keep his hopes alive.

QUOTABLE: “I didn’t lose this tournament. He won it.” – Spieth, on whether it will take long to get over this loss

SHORT SHOTS: Jhonattan Vegas, a 36-hole co-leader, comes back from a Saturday 72 with a final-round 65 to jump seven spots to a tie for third at 9 under. He’s projected to move from 29th to 10th in FedEx Cup points. … Jon Rahm finishes T-3 at 9 under and should be fifth in FedEx Cup points after this week. … Jason Day, Justin Thomas, Webb Simpson and Kevin Chappell all tie for sixth at 5 under. Day is projected to move from 49th to 29th in the FedEx Cup standings. The other three should be near locks to reach East Lake now. … Charley Hoffman fires a 65 to rocket 35 spots to a tie for 17th at 3 under. (He should move from 11th to ninth in the FedEx Cup standings.) … Rickie Fowler finishes in a tie for 20th at 2 under. He’s projected to drop from fifth to sixth in the FedEx Cup standings. … Rory McIlroy closes in 72 to place T-34. He is projected to move up one spot to 43rd in the FedEx Cup standings with that finish. … Phil Mickelson closes in 75 to plummet to T-54 at 6 over. He should drop from 51st to 58th in the FedEx Cup standings as well.

REMINDER: Only the top 100 in the FedEx Cup standings after this event will move on to next week’s Dell Technologies Championship. Based on the current projections, we have three golfers who played their way in to next week (and three who played themselves out, of course). The three fortunate ones are Harold Varner III (posts a T-20 finish at 2 under and is projected to jump from 123rd to 91st), Bubba Watson (who is projected to jump from 113th to 72nd thanks to a T-10 finish at 4 under) and David Lingmerth (a projected 103rd-to-87th jump after a T-29 finish at even par).

The unfortunate bunch are Seung Yul-Noh (100th to 110th in projection after a missed-cut showing), Robert Garrigus (99th to 109th projection after missing the cut as well) and Byeong Hun An (who should drop from 96th to 102nd after a missed cut).

UP NEXT: The action moves to TPC Boston in Norton, Mass., for the Dell Technologies Championship. This one will be a scheduled Labor Day Monday finish, which means the tournament won’t start until Friday. Follow all the action live on Golfweek.com and our Facebook and Twitter feeds.

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