In a day full of lead changes and great shots, Zach Johnson was able to outlast Troy Matteson on the second playoff hole of the 2012 John Deere Classic on July 15 to claim his second win of the year on the PGA Tour.
Johnson was four shots out of the lead heading into the final day and needed to not only go low, but hope that Steve Stricker and Troy Matteson ahead of him would somehow falter with both playing great after the first three rounds. Everything seemed to fall in line for Johnson on Sunday, as he shot a bogey-free round of six-under 65 while both Matteson and Stricker struggled on the back nine. Matteson was able to make a great comeback on the final few holes (more on that later) and eventually was able to make it into a playoff with Johnson after 72 holes had been played. Both players had terrible approach shots on the first playoff hole and made double bogey, and it seemed as though the event would move to a third playoff hole until Johnson hit a fantastic fairway bunker shot to within inches of the cup, propelling him to victory. Johnson had a solid all-around golf game this week, and I wouldn't count him out at the British Open next week.
Matteson had pretty much everything going for him heading into Sunday, as he had a three shot lead over the rest of the field, was putting out of his mind, and had won previously on the PGA Tour so it didn't seem as though he would collapse. However, Matteson got off to a shaky start with a mix of bogeys and birdies on the front nine, and the key holes for him on the back nine were 15 and 17. Troy had sort of a mental miscue on 15 around the green that led him to a double bogey and a two shot deficit from Zach Johnson, but was able to make up for it with an incredible eagle on the par 5 17th hole in which Matteson made a 60 foot putt. Even with all of that his nerves got the best of him on the first playoff hole, and he had no answer for Johnson's bunker shot either. Overall, though, Matteson had a great event and I wouldn't be surprised if he were in contention at another event later in the year.
Ryan Kekoufski is a scratch golfer who has both played and watched the sport for well over a decade.
- Sports & Recreation
- Troy Matteson
- Zach Johnson