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Golf: Johnson rallies past Spieth to earn Northern Trust win

Reuters
August 27. 2017 9:48PM




Dustin Johnson is back, and he offered a reminder of why he is ranked No. 1 in the world when he beat Jordan Spieth in a playoff to win the Northern Trust in Old Westbury, N.Y., on Sunday.

Johnson sank a 3-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole to edge out Spieth after a compelling head-to-head final-round duel at the Glen Oaks Club.

Johnson forced the playoff by sinking a sharply breaking downhill 17-foot par putt at the final regulation hole, his ball catching the right edge of the cup and toppling in at the par-four 18th.

He overcame a five-stroke deficit over the final 13 holes for his first win since he injured his back falling down stairs on the eve of the Masters in April.

Johnson closed with a 66 on Sunday for a 13-under-par total of 267 in the first of the PGA Tour’s four FedExCup playoff events.

“I feel the game’s finally back in form like it was leading into the Masters,” Johnson said. “I’m swinging everything really well, got a lot of control over the golf ball and I’m feeling really good.

“Getting a win here today gives me a lot of confidence going into next week and the rest of the playoffs.”

Johnson, who won three consecutive starts before hurting his back, joins Justin Thomas as a four-time winner on the PGA Tour this season.

Johnson now has 16 career victories, and this was his first in a playoff.

But he seemed destined for second place after leaving himself with a difficult par putt at the 72nd hole.

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.

Spieth carded a 69 on Sunday. He and Johnson finished four shots ahead of Jon Rahm and Jhonattan Vegas.

Michelle Wie withdraws due to appendicitis

Michelle Wie withdrew from the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open before the fourth round on Sunday because of pain that eventually led to appendix surgery.

“Michelle Wie will have surgery to remove her appendix today at Ottawa Hospital,” a spokesman from IMG said.

The CP Women’s Open was being played at Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club in Ottawa, Ontario. Wie shot 71-68-70 in the first three rounds.

and began Sunday six strokes off the lead.

Wie has been plagued by injuries throughout the year. She had to withdraw from the U.S. Women’s Open because of a neck injury.

Sung Hyun Park won the tournament at 13-under par.


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