Johnson wins playoff over Matteson
BY Bruce Young | US PGA Tour | 2012 John Deere Classic | Wrap | 16 Jul 2012
Zach Johnson has won his second PGA Tour event of the year and his 9th overall with a playoff victory over Troy Matteson at the John Deere Classic in Silvis Illinois.
Both victories in 2012 have proven to be dramatic with Johnson surviving his earlier win at the Crowne Plaza Colonial despite a two shot penalty after his final putt was holed and today double bogeying the first hole of a playoff only to hit his approach from a fairway bunker at the second time around to two feet.
Fortunately for Johnson, Matteson too found a way to double bogey the first extra hole after finding the water with his approach from the rough.
Matteson’s disappointment at the first extra hole bungle and the eventual loss will be curbed a little by the fact that he earned the final place at the Open Championship this week.
Most of the focus was on the attempt by Steve Stricker to win an event for the fourth consecutive year, a mission he appeared capable of accomplishing until he found trouble at his 15th and 16th holes.
Others were joining the fray as they chased down overnight leader Matteson but he too would find trouble when he double bogeyed the 15th hole and by then he, Johnson, John Senden, Scott Piercy and Stricker were all winning chances. The hole that would separate the group however was the par five 17th.
First Johnson made birdie to move to 20 under and the outright lead by two then a few minutes later Matteson holed a 65 foot putt up the green to join Johnson in the lead. They had effectively extinguished the challenge of others and when both parred their final hole of regulation it was back to the 18th tee.
Piercy finished on his own in third position, John Senden was 4th and Luke Guthrie and Steve Stricker were tied for 5th.
Guthrie’s final round of 64 highlights the talent this recent graduate from the University of IIlinois. He finished 19th in Memphis a few weeks ago and now this 5th place, both starts on invitation.
Senden had not played tournament golf for a month when he arrived in Silvis but this was an event for which he had happy memories given that his only PGA Tour title had come there in 2005.
Senden’s chances looked slim when he double bogeyed his first hole today but he would play his next 14 holes in eight under to get within one of Matteson’s then lead. Senden would drop shots at the 16th and 17th however and his chance was gone but it had been a good lead in event to next week’s Open Championship where Senden will now start as one of the favourites amongst the Australians.
Stuart Appleby was 25th, Danny Lee 30th and Nathan Green 74th amongst the Australasians.