Stunner At Sherwood: Zach Johnson Tops Tiger At Northwestern Mutual World Challenge

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You can’t make this stuff up. After taking the early tournament lead at the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge, Oakley golfer, Zach Johnson battled with the tournament host, Tiger Woods the entire weekend. While Woods looked to have the edge throughout the weekend, Johnson never let the lead get out of sight. In a comeback for the ages, Johnson slowly clawed his way back to top Woods in a sudden-death-playoff at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, California. It was his road to the playoff that was utterly remarkable.

With eight holes remaining in the tournament, Johnson was looking at an insurmountable four shot deficit behind the top ranked golfer in the world. No problem for one of the most consistent golfers on Tour. Johnson brought himself back up to a tie for the lead on the par four 18th hole where this story begins to heat up. In a stunning turn of events, Johnson struck his second shot into a water hazard just short of the green. Forced to play from the drop zone, fighting for survival, Johnson didn’t waste anytime chipping close to the hole, putting in and hoping for a mistake from Woods. Johnson went straight for the jugular, chipping in from 58-yards out to force a sudden death playoff. A chest bump for his caddy and on to the playoff they went.

“It looked to me like it was going to be a very, very difficult 4 for him [Woods],” Johnson stated about the drama at 18. “I’m trying to get somewhat around the hole and make a 5. It wasn’t exactly a full wedge shot, but it was one that I could be aggressive with — 58 yards, trying to hit it about 52, 53, and we saw what it did.”

Johnson went on to win the playoff and ultimately the tournament when Woods missed a par putt that would have extended the round. While he was thrilled with the win, the usually mild-mannered Johnson called the storybook ending “A little too dramatic for me.”

Johnson’s victory Sunday prevented Woods from winning his sixth title at Sherwood and earned him a cool one million dollar paycheck and his tenth PGA Tour win.

“The guy [Woods] 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.”

Johnson’s Oakley teammate, Bubba Watson finished the tournament tied for third.