Johnson steals Tiger's thunder with Sherwood win
By Mark Lamport-Stokes
THOUSAND OAKS, California (Reuters) - Tournament host Tiger Woods was denied a sixth win of the year in sensational fashion when he lost the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge in a playoff with Zach Johnson at Sherwood Country Club on Sunday.
Johnson, who had twice finished second to fellow American Woods at this elite limited-field event, sealed victory with a rock-solid par at the 18th, the first extra hole, where Woods lipped out with a five-footer to bogey.
The duo had finished regulation amid high drama and sharp swings of fortune on 13-under 275, Woods parring the last for a two-under 70 and Johnson, who came from four strokes behind with four birdies in the last eight holes, closing with a 68.
"It was a bit too much drama at the end there," a beaming Johnson told reporters after earning the winner's cheque for $1 million. "I feel very fortunate and somewhat lucky to be sitting here as a champion."
Tied for the lead at 13 under, Johnson appeared to have the title firmly in his grasp in regulation when five-times champion Woods, from the left rough at the 18th, dumped his approach into a greenside bunker.
However Johnson, perfectly positioned in the fairway, stunningly found water with his second, took a penalty drop and then holed out from 58 yards in the fairway for a par four as the galleries erupted in deafening celebration.
"It was just a bad swing and I got caught up in the moment," Johnson said of his poor approach from the 18th fairway. "That was the worst shot I hit all day ... probably the worst I hit all week.
"Certainly the next shot was a little too dramatic for me, but I was very lucky to hit that one in." Continued...