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Tiger Woods blows four-shot lead with eight holes to go to Zach Johnson at his own tournament

Shane Bacon
Devil Ball Golf

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Tiger Woods — Getty Images

It was an ending like no other on Sunday at Sherwood Country Club, with Zach Johnson taking down Tiger Woods at the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge in the most unusual of outcomes.

Tiger Woods missing a short putt to lose a tournament? It happened. Zach Johnson hitting an 8-iron from the middle of the fairway to a very accessible pin location only to shank it in the hazard on the final hole of regulation? Yep, that also was part of the bizarre finish in chilly California.

Woods had a four-shot lead over Johnson with eight holes to go on Sunday at his own event, and just when it looked like it was over Johnson birdied the 11th, 12th, 16th and 17th, and then came to the last tied with Woods, and had the advantage after finding the fairway as Woods missed well left.

Tiger had to hit a heroic second shot after missing the fairway to even get the ball on the green, but short-sided himself in the bunker and it was Johnson's tournament to win.

Johnson, a man known to be deadly with a wedge, had knocked down the last two flags to set up Tiger-catching birdies, and with a green light flag like the 18th on Sunday at Sherwood, it seemed that a birdie was much more likely than a bogey.

Johnson shanked his 8-iron into a hazard that basically doesn't come into play for professionals, and it looked like one of the biggest chokes ever in this event before he hit his fourth shot from the drop zone.

The ball spun back in the hole for the par, Tiger could only smirk, and then had to get up and down from a really tough position just to make a playoff.

It was there that we were reminded that this Tiger is not the man who once never seemed to miss a shot or a putt when it mattered. Woods' approach shot weakly drifted right into that same bunker, a really poor golf swing considering the man and the moment, and after another great shot from the bunker, his par putt went begging and it was Johnson's title to keep.

A strange ending to a fairly strange week in Sherwood, with Johnson following up one of the worst shots you will ever see by a professional trying to win a golf tournament with one of the best wedges you'll ever see to send the event into a playoff.

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