Two weeks, two PGA Tour events, two thrilling playoff finishes. This is what golf is all about.
Just one week after Ted Potter Jr. edged out Troy Kelly in West Virginia, Zach Johnson has pulled off a nail biting victory at the John Deere Classic, surviving a late charge from Troy Matteson today (July 16).
Earlier in the day, Johnson seemed to have the tournament wrapped up after shooting four birdies on the back nine to finish six under for the round and 20 under for the event.
Matteson, who had lead every round the of the tournament so far and entered the fourth round with a three stroke lead, seemed to have thrown away his chance for victory after a double bogey on the 16th put him two strokes behind.
But a miraculous 18 meter eagle putt on the par five 17 saw him slip back up to 20 under and tie for the lead, meaning a second playoff finish in as many PGA Tour events would be required to determine the winner.
The first playoff hole saw both men make double bogeys on the 18th, after each found the water hazard and then missed difficult putting opportunities.
The cool head of Johnson prevailed on the second playoff hole however, a remarkable 177 meter second shot from the bunker found the green and set the 36-year-old up for an easy put to claim his ninth PGA Tour event.
Scott Piercy took second place with an impressive bogey-free final day of six under setting him at 17 under for the tournament, while Australian John Senden will be pleased with his sole share of fourth place.
Steve Stricker proved unable to claim his fourth consecutive John Deere Classic win, three bogeys on the back nine destroying his chances of mounting a decent assault.
He eventually finished in a share of fifth with Luke Guthrie at 16 under, no doubt disappointed after staying in contention throughout the first three days.
"You know, a lot of expectations, a lot of things going on here ‑ all good things, don’t get me wrong - but it takes a lot out of you, too,” Stricker told PGATour.com after the tournament.
"Although I wish I could have been out there in a playoff or tried to have won again, yeah, I’m kind of glad it’s over. Hopefully come back next year and start another one."
The victory takes Zach Johnson's playoff record to 3-0 after previously defeating James Driscoll at the 2009 Valero Texas Open and Ryuji Imada at the 2007 AT&T Classic.