Tiger Wood held a four-shot lead with eight holes to play Sunday at the Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Calif. And lost. Lost to Zach Johnson in a playoffs. Worse, hardly anyone was surprised.
Despite winning five times this year–more than anyone on the PGA Tour–Woods’ play has been less than stellar, failing to either make a run or coming apart. Sunday, it was a mixture of both, with Johnson’s magic shot on 18 that did in Woods.
Tied on the last hole, Woods’ second shot found the greenside bunker, leaving Johnson seemingly in prime position to take control. But his 8-iron was short and landed in the water in front of the green. So, all Woods had to do was get up-and-down from the sand trap for a par–which was not going to be easy from the lie he had and the flag position–while Johnson looked to be facing a certain bogey from the drop zone.
However, Johnson’s wedge from 58 yards bounced in front of the flag three times, came to rest just beyond the hole and rolled back a few inches and into the cup for a breathtaking par. The crowd roared and Woods allowed a smile.
The show made his play from the bunker that much more difficult, but he played it beautifully to about 18 inches and tapped in for par, forcing a playoffs.
On the first extra hole, playing No. 18 again, Woods missed a five-foot putt for par, completing his collapse.
”I feel very fortunate and somewhat lucky,” Johnson said. ”A little too dramatic for me.”
Johnson won $1 million and should go to No. 9 in the world, the first time in his career he has been in the top 10.
In defeat, Woods said 2013 was a ”damn good year” considering his five victories.
”The guy never ceases to amaze me,” Johnson said. ”So yeah, I’ll take pride in the fact that I played against the best, and I got one.”