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Johnson Wins John Deere Classic on Second Playoff Hole
After tying 54-leader Troy Matteson in regulation, Zach Johnson hit an amazing fairway bunker shot on the second playoff hole to win the John Deere Classic in Silvis, Ill. The victory, the ninth of Johnson's career, was worth $828,000 and 500 FedEx Cup points.
Johnson, a 36-year-old Iowan, carded six birdies - including four on the back nine at what he considers his "home" course, TPC Deere Run - to finish with a 6-under 65 and tie Matteson (69) at 20-under 264.
On the first playoff hole, the par-4 18th, the two made a hash of things. Matteson, whose two wins on Tour came at the Frys.com Open, pushed his drive into the trees of the par-4 while Johnson put his tee shot into the bunker left of the fairway.
Matteson punched out too far, his ball rolling across the fairway and into the water hazard that borders the left side of the hole. Though seemingly with an advantage, Johnson pulled his bunker shot also into the lake. Both ended up making double-bogeys.
Back they headed to the 18th, where Matteson found the fairway off the tee while Johnson, once again, put his drive into the same bunker. Hitting first, Johnson fired a magnificent 6-iron from 194 yards to within inches of the cup. Matteson placed his approach on the green, but 42 feet away. He missed his birdie putt, ceding the tournament to Johnson.
Finishing in solo third at 266 was Scott Piercy, who closed with a 65, while another stroke back was Australia's John Senden (67). Sharing fifth at 16-under 268 were Luke Guthrie (64) and Steve Stricker (70). Scott Brown ended up in seventh at 269 following a 67.
Stricker, who began the final round in second place three shots behind Matteson, was seeking to join Tiger Woods for the most consecutive victories - four - in the same event in golf's modern era.
"It was fun trying to do it," Stricker said later. "I gave it a rip and came up a few short, but it was fun trying."
Tying for eighth at 14-under 270 were Kevin Streelman (65), Lee Janzen (67), Ryan Moore (68), Chris DiMarco (69) and Billy Hurley III (70).
For all the scores, visit http://www.pgatour.com/r/leaderboard.