Zach Johnson beats Tiger in Sherwood playoff

Zach Johnson (Courtesy: Zimbio.com)

Zach Johnson (Courtesy: Zimbio.com)

Tiger Woods entered the day at Sherwood with a two-shot lead over Zach Johnson, but he couldn’t hang on, eventually losing to Johnson on the first playoff hole after a crazy series of events unfolded on the 18th.

What Happened

To be honest, there wasn’t a whole lot that happened on Sunday until the back nine. Johnson never got too far behind, but was pretty much only making pars with the occasional birdie thrown in on the front, which was never going to be enough to catch Tiger at Sherwood. Tiger would bogey the 14th, allowing Johnson to make up a shot and after both players made par on the tough par-3 15th, Johnson looked to have the edge on 16 after a tremendous wedge shot from 88 yards out.

12.08.13 zach approach 16

Tiger responded from the rough with a great flop shot:

12.08.13 tiger flop 16

Johnson responded with a great approach at the par-3 17th leading to a birdie and after Tiger made par, the players went to the 18th all square. That’s when it got crazy. With Tiger finding the greenside bunker, the advantage went to Johnson who was in the middle of the fairway. He then proceeded to hit one of the worst shots I’ve ever seen, wiping one right into the water.

12.08.13 zach into water

Advantage Tiger, right? Wrong. Zach from the drop zone:

12.08.13 zj holes out

We were off to a playoff. Both players found the fairway, but Johnson had the advantage as he found the green with Tiger ending up in that same greenside bunker. Johnson two-putted for his par, and after another good bunker shot, Tiger had a short one to continue the playoff.

12.08.13 tiger misses playoff putt

With that, one of the craziest finishes in golf history concluded and Zach Johnson was the winner of the final Tiger Woods Challenge at Sherwood.

Final Leaderboard

  • 1. Zach Johnson -13 *wins in playoff*
  • 2. Tiger Woods -13
  • T3. Bubba Watson -9
  • T3. Matt Kuchar -9

What The Win Means For Johnson

To be honest, it probably doesn’t mean that much for Johnson outside of the fact that it always feels good to win a tournament, especially one where you can beat Tiger Woods in a playoff. Just some fantastic stuff on a day where golf was likely the furthest thing from the minds of many. Johnson will now take the next few weeks off and we’ll see him at Kapalua for the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.

What The Loss Means For Woods

He takes every loss hard, even ones in tournaments like this where it isn’t supposed to mean as much. I’m sure he wanted to win the last event at Sherwood too, but realistically, he hasn’t picked up a club since he played in Turkey, so he shouldn’t take it too hard. For much of the week, he was by far the best player on the course, so he’s going to be just fine. Just please, golf writers, don’t start with the “a few years ago, Zach Johnson would have been afraid of Tiger” articles.

Tiger’s new driver

Tiger put a new driver in the bag this week, opting to go with the Nike VRS Covert 2.0 in an attempt to get some more distance. He also put some extra weight in the shaft, going from about 73 grams to a little over 100 grams, which should make it a little more stiff, giving it the feel of a steel shafted club. It seemed to work, as he drove it pretty good this week and he’s now the third player to win with it in the bag, after Charl Schwartzel won the Alfred Dunhill and Rory McIlroy took the Australian Open. If you’re going to experiment with new clubs, now is the time.

Jason Dufner had a little fun with Keegan and Tiger

Some typical fun between Dufner and Keegan in the below video:

Also, Dufner was able to do something that few have been able to do: get a response out of Tiger on Twitter. Well, he got a response out of Tiger’s team on Twitter, anyway.

Other Notes

  • It’s been a long time since I can remember a par-3 playing as difficult as the 15th did on Saturday. Coming in at 192 yards, which is usually only a 5 or 6-iron for the pros, but of the eighteen players in the field, eight found the hazard for a total of eleven balls and a stroke average of 4.1.

There was a huge amount of wind on Saturday, especially on the back nine and it was clearly quite effective. Ian Poulter wasn’t impressed.

12.07.13 poulter angry 13

  • For some reason, Tiger wasn’t wearing a fullback hat this weekend, which admittedly is a weird thing to notice, but he just looked so different. If anyone has any idea why this happened, let me know.
  • Is there any top player that hits more bad shots than Bubba Watson? It seems like the difference between his floor and ceiling is way bigger than everyone else.
  • Next year, the event moves from Sherwood to Isleworth.
  • NBC showed an interview with Tiger on Sunday that was conducted after Saturday’s third round, and while he didn’t tell us anything that was groundbreaking in any way, it was the kind of interview that I think people wish Tiger would give a little more often. He’s one of the smartest players in the game, and can be funny and engaging when he wants to, which just doesn’t happen enough and let’s not forget that he has done quite a bit for charity through this tournament.

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One Comment on “Zach Johnson beats Tiger in Sherwood playoff

  1. Pingback: 2014 Humana Challenge Betting Preview | AdamSarson.com

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