DJ back in the winner's circle after classic Spieth duel

Golf News

Dustin Johnson was five back at one point in the final round of the Northern Trust before turning the tables on Jordan Spieth

Once upon a time Dustin Johnson’s wedge game was thought to be a big weakness. In recent years he has made it one of his strengths and he played to that as he closed out Jordan Spieth in a play-off for the Northern Trust.

First he laid up at the 18th after a horrible tee shot, there was no bludgeoning out of the rough to some greenside bunker or other as he might have done in the past, instead wedging out and then up to 18 feet before making a brilliant putt that toppled in.

Then in extra holes he played to his other big strength, the driver, with a 340-yard missile that left him just 90 yards. Spieth was something like 80 yards further back and could only make a par, Johnson popped his lob wedge to three feet to give him his fourth win of 2017 and his first since that fall at at the Masters.

Brace yourself..

Spieth led by five after five holes but a wet double-bogey at the 6th made a mess of that and there was a two-shot swing at the 9th where the Open champion missed a short one.

And so to the back nine with a one-shot lead. Johnson birdied the 10th, both did likewise at the the par-5 13th and Spieth popped in a five-footer at the 14th. That lead lasted until the next hole when Johnson rolled in a 20-footer and both players made brilliant sand saves at the short 17th, Spieth’s particularly impressive given he knocked in an 18-footer.

The overnight leader looked to have done enough with his four at the 72nd hole, helped by a brilliant putt from distance, but it was Johnson’s day and his putter came good when it mattered.

Jhonattan Vegas, winner in Canada last month, again made some excellent progress with a closing, bogey-free 65 to tie for third with Jon Rahm and move up 19 spots in the FedEx Cup.

Rory McIlroy’s unremarkable week finished with a 72 to finish on two while another former World No 1 Luke Donald will now have a few weeks off until the new season gets going again. The Englishman arrived here in 107th spot on the standings, the top 100 progress, but he could only move up two places.

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