Johnson seals John Deere crown
Zach Johnson, pictured, edged Troy Matteson in a two-hole play-off
Local favourite Zach Johnson beat Troy Matteson in a play-off to win the John Deere Classic in Illinois.
Johnson carded a six-under-par 65 to finish 20 under overall alongside Matteson, who had led since day one but could only manage a two-under 69, his worst round of the week, on the final day.
That took them to a play-off hole on the 18th which, remarkably given the week's low scoring, both players contrived to double bogey.
They played the hole again, and this time Johnson birdied, while Matteson could only manage a par four.
The win takes Johnson fifth in the American Ryder Cup standings, while Matteson, 368th in the world, has the consolation of taking the final exempt spot in The Open.
Johnson's play-off birdie came thanks to an exquisite 192-yard approach shot, from the same bunker he found in the first play-off hole, which was within inches of giving him an eagle.
"I think we're stating the obvious," he told www.pgatour.com. "That was really good. That was my shot of the week."
As Johnson, who as an Iowan and strong supporter of the tournament had support from the Illinois crowd, made steady progress, carding two birdies in his front nine and four on the back, Matteson appeared to have let his chance go with a double bogey at 15. That left him level for the day, but an eagle three at the 17th took him into a play-off.
"All in all, you go into a play-off and lose to a shot like that, I mean, that's an unbelievable shot," said Matteson. "To hit it six inches to that hole location, I mean, if you ask most pros, they'll take middle of the green where my ball was all day long.
"My hat's off to Zach. He drove it in the bunker twice and figured out a way to win. It's a great story, you know, hometown kid. It was really good."
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