Zach Johnson beats Tiger Woods in play-off to clinch World Challenge title
Last Updated: 09/12/13 4:26pm
Zach Johnson (L) overcame Tiger Woods down the stretch to win World Challenge
Zach Johnson beat Tiger Woods at the first extra hole of a play-off to clinch the World Challenge title following a dramatic finish at Sherwood Country Club.
Woods appeared to be on course for a sixth victory at the event he hosts in California as he led by four shots through ten holes of the final round.
But Johnson produced some superb golf down the stretch to reel in his man with a birdie at the par-three 17th drawing him level with long-time leader Woods at 13-under-par.
However, the drama was only just beginning to unfold. With Woods having dumped his approach at 18 into a greenside bunker, Johnson looked to have the upper hand only to then produce a borderline shank from the middle of the fairway, sending his ball into the water short of the green.
Incredibly, though, the 2007 Masters champion then responded by holing his next shot from the drop-zone to record an unlikely par.
Woods showed commendable composure to get up-and-down from the sand to force a play-off, but then found almost an identical spot in the same trap as the players went down 18 for a second time.
On this occasion Johnson found the left side of the green with his approach but saw his subsequent birdie putt just drift past the hole.
Having played another superb bunker shot, Woods had left himself about four feet to extend the play-off but could only watch on in disbelief as his effort lipped out.
(US unless stated)
-13 Z Johnson (*Won in a play-off)
-13 T Woods
-9 M Kuchar
-9 B Watson
-7 W Simpson
-5 G McDowell (NIrl)
It meant Johnson clinched the title for the first time after two runner-up finishes in what is the last edition of the tournament to be played at Sherwood.
A delighted Johnson (68) said of his remarkable chip-in at 18 first time around: "Lot of luck, but I had a good number and I'm very lucky it went in."
Woods (70) was magnanimous in defeat and commented: "It was pretty impressive what he did on 16, 17 and 18 and he got me."
Bubba Watson (70) and Matt Kuchar (67) finished in a tie for third at nine-under, Kuchar threatening to get in the shake-up after a front nine of just 31 strokes before seeing his challenge derailed by a double-bogey at ten.
Webb Simpson was two shots further back in fifth, while defending champion Graeme McDowell ended in sixth, one place ahead of Ian Poulter.