March 21 2018

What Dustin Johnson said after winning The Northern Trust

March 21 2018, 10:10 | Sammy Rose

Jon Rahm partnered Fowler and Johnson for the opening two rounds

Jon Rahm partnered Fowler and Johnson for the opening two rounds

The other was a drive that traveled 341 yards.

Of his 16 victories, this was the first time Johnson faced a must-make putt on the final hole. Only when he climbed the hill and saw his ball 18 feet from the hole - Johnson thought it would be closer - did he wonder if this wouldn't be his day.

The No. 1 player in the golf finally looked the part again.

"It was a big win for sure", Johnson said after his round. Johnson played a bogey-free round, and the key to his round was a challenging downhill par putt on the 18th hole that allowed him to maintain his position.

"This is the reason why you get up early every morning to practice, go to the gym and get prepared to succeed", said the 26-year-old Suri, who won the D+D REAL Czech Challenge in May and becomes the third American to win on the European Tour and Challenge Tour after U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka and Peter Uihlein.

The win was Johnson's fourth of the year, but it was just his third top 10 since injuring himself before the Masters. "I was hoping that he would line up down the middle and he nearly can't hold the fairway lining up down the middle".

Spieth closed with 69 and took his hat off to DJ.

"The front nine I couldn't hole a putt, burning the edges". After they traded birdies on No. 13, Spieth made an 8-foot birdie at 14 to regain the lead.

When asked after the round of what proved to be the defining shot from the tee Johnson was his typical nonchalant self.

"Right after I hit my drive, I was like, 'What am I doing?"

In the playoff, Johnson took an aggressive line, one he was hoping to take in regulation.

By the time they got to the 18th tee for the playoff, the wind had switched.

Johnson started the season in blistering fashion before injuring his back in a fall on the eve of the Masters in April, saying it has taken him this long to get back to where he was.

"But his body language was hanging in", Spieth said. My battling qualities, that's all I really have right now. A win at The Northern Trust would be his fourth, tying Thomas' total for 2017.

Jordan Spieth birdied three of his last five holes Saturday to grab a three-shot lead at The Northern Trust.

Johnson hit a 60-degree wedge to 3 1/2 feet for birdie, Spieth had 7-iron that rolled to 24 feet for a two-putt par.

In a career known for driving prowess and field-lapping abilities, it might be the defining putt of his life so far, the most important one he has made when he has really had to make one.

Johnson's drive on the 72 hole found a downslope in the right rough forcing him to lay up and trust his ability to hit a wedge close to the hole rather than attempt the hard shot required to find the putting surface perched high above the fairway.

Five holes later, they were tied.

But Johnson collected four birdies between the ninth and 15th holes, while Spieth had a double bogey on No. 6 and a bogey on No. 9 to help Johnson get back in contention. Simpson moved up 28 spots to tie for sixth. That marked the fewest players outside the top 100 to advance since 2007. Spieth is right behind. The pair will play the first two rounds together at next week's Dell Technologies.

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