Domenica, 24 Settembre, 2017

PGA Northern Trust: Jordan Spieth holds three-shot lead

Dustin Johnson posted a second round one-under 70 Dustin Johnson posted a second round one-under 70
Pammachio Corsino | 28 Agosto, 2017, 07:37

It wasn't a major championship, but the final round of the PGA Tour's Northern Trust was just as good as Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson went toe-to-toe on the final holes.

Spieth, who entered the day with a three-shot lead over Johnson, shot 69.

Missing from the mix are Jhonattan Vegas and Rickie Fowler, who started the third round as part of the four-way tie for the lead that included Spieth and Johnson.

Johnson joined Spieth (69) at 13-under the card and the pair will head to a sudden-death play-off at the par-4 18th at Glen Oaks Club on Long Island.

Spieth's tee shot on the next hole banged off the rock wall and into the water on the par-3 sixth, and he made double bogey.

It was his first victory since he injured his back falling down stairs on the eve of the Masters in April.

By the time the duo walked to the 11th tee the day's final pairing was tied at 11 under, the byproduct of back-to-back two-stroke swings at the ninth and 10th holes and some clutch golf from Johnson. "Jordan is a tough competitor".

There is really no one else in contention for the PGA Tour Player of the Year Award, where the victor receives the Jack Nicklaus Trophy.

Johnson rallied from a five-shot deficit on the front nine. "Every time I had a wedge shot this week, I felt like I hit a really good shot and gave myself really good looks at birdie". "It was nice in the play-off here, the wind sort of switched so I could cover the water". "Coming up 18 I kind of just took a peek around and I didn't see any green grass outside of the ropes", Henderson said. "I feel like I'm swinging well again". No disrespect to Hideki Matsuyama, the Japanese machine who was ranked second in the world, but this is as good as golf gets at the moment. "This was the first one I've really had to work at". "I moved closer to the ball and the ball-striking was wonderful today".

After the win, once he'd enjoyed a few minutes to consider how he accomplished it, Johnson was still tickled that his final putt of regulation found the bottom of the cup.


With Spieth sitting within tap-in range for a certain par, Johnson had to hole the putt, and he read the break and the speed to near perfection to dish out a blow to Spieth.

Finally, in the year of its 10th anniversary, the FedEx Cup produced the drama that the PGA Tour, the sponsor and the fans have been craving thanks to a titanic battle between two of the world's best at the first of this year's Playoffs events.

"I didn't lose the tournament".

"But his body language was hanging in", Spieth said.

"[We] committed to targets that were away from holes, knowing I'm in the lead and knowing the putter is getting hotter each putt I hit".

"But I feel great about my game". He clipped branches, hit a poor chip and had to two-putt from 80 feet for his bogey. I had one bad putting day and one very average day. "Pretty much just continuing the momentum from the last couple days". But it's very hard holding a lead on a hard golf course when the guy you're playing with goes bogey-free and doesn't even really sniff a bogey and shoots 4-under. "Hats off to DJ. But no surprise, either".

The American duo now hold a one-shot lead over Jason Dufner (through 12 holes), Spanish world No.8 Jon Rahm and Matt Kuchar (both seven holes) who all share third at six-under.

Defending FedExCup champion Rory McIlroy is seven strokes behind after a 68.

Thomas fired four straight rounds in the 60s, but he just could not get it going enough to contend.

While that Masters loss left some justifiable scarring for Spieth, this one - despite the coughed-up lead - shouldn't even register on the scale of dejection. "And it was fun to be in the hunt again, and see my game hold up".

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