Zach Johnson of the USA won the John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run in Illinois, coming through a playoff against countryman Troy Matteson on the second extra hole.
Tournament director Zach Johnson and Troy Matteson tied on a four-round total of 20-under-par, so extra holes were required to decide the fate of this tournament. The pair headed back to the 18th tee, from where both found trouble. Matteson’s ball ended in the trees to the right while Johnson found the left-hand fairway bunker.
Matteson took his time to decide on a strategy from the woods but, when he made a decision, it was the wrong one. He hit a low running pitch through a gap in the trees but it ran too far, straight into the water hazard protecting the left of the hole.
That meant the door was wide open for Johnson but, unbelievably, he too found the water with his second. Neither man was able to get up-and-down and so the hole was halved with double-bogey sixes.
The second extra time down the 18th, Johnson once again found that bunker on the left. But, this time he played the perfect shot from the sand. From 193-yards out he fired a six-iron to the heart of the green. His ball kicked forward and rolled out towards the pin, ending just a foot away from the cup.
Matteson found the green but was left with a long putt for birdie. He missed and that left Johnson with a tap-in for the title. The local boy, (Johnson’s hometown of Cedar Rapids is just an hour from Deere Run,) sent it home for his ninth PGA Tour title. The victory lifted him to second place on the FedEx Cup standings.
“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.”
For Matteson it was a disappointing end to the week, but he could console himself with the fact his performance was good enough to secure a place in this week’s Open Championship at Royal Lytham.
“It’s a heck of a way to play a qualifier, for four days,” Matteson said. “When I started this week I really didn’t think about the British Open.”
Steve Stricker was looking to win this event for the fourth straight year but he came up short in the final round. He ended the week tied for fifth.
John Deere Classic
TPC Deere Run, Silvis, Illinois
12-15 Jul, purse $4,600,000, par 71
1 Zach Johnson (USA) 68 65 66 65 264 $828,000
2 Troy Matteson (USA) 61 68 66 69 264 $496,800
3 Scott Piercy (USA) 65 69 67 65 266 $312,800
4 John Senden (Aus) 69 64 67 67 266 $220,800
T5 Luke Guthrie (USA) 65 68 71 64 268 $174,800
T5 Steve Stricker (USA) 65 67 66 70 268 $174,800
7 Scott Brown (USA) 70 66 66 67 269 $154,100
T8 Kevin Streelman (USA) 68 69 68 65 270 $124,200
T8 Lee Janzen (USA) 67 65 71 67 270 $124,200
T8 Ryan Moore (USA) 67 69 66 68 270 $124,200
T8 Chris DiMarco (USA) 66 67 68 69 270 $124,200
T8 Billy Hurley III (USA) 68 68 64 70 270 $124,200
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage
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