By Ron Green Jr. of Global Golf Post
If you wonder sometimes what separates the best players from the other players on the PGA Tour, what Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth did on the final two holes of regulation at the Northern Trust was a demonstration.
Having spent the back nine effectively playing match play against one another, first Spieth and then Johnson made monumental par-saving putts to force extra holes.
Then Johnson did it to Spieth, getting up and down from 92 yards, sliding in a 17-foot par putt knowing he had to make it for the tournament belonged to Spieth.
Punch and counterpunch.
If Spieth wins tournaments with his moxie and his putting, Johnson wins with power, and that’s how he won this one. After Spieth took a more conservative line off the 18th tee in the playoff, Johnson flew his tee shot on a more aggressive line over a pond, taking advantage of the wind shifting to behind him. If left Johnson with a 60-degree wedge up the hill, setting up a winning putt of less than 4 feet.
“I felt like I played really good today,” said Johnson, who didn’t have a bogey on Sunday. “The first nine holes I just couldn’t hole a putt.”
Standing on the sixth tee Sunday, Spieth was five strokes clear of Johnson and for all of his talk about how uncomfortable he can feel playing with the lead, there was no sign of that. Until he dunked his tee shot into the greenside pond at the par-3 sixth, leading to a double bogey.
Spieth was still three ahead until he made a bogey from the fringe on the ninth hole and Johnson finally got a putt to fall for his first birdie. Five strokes had become one stroke and by the 11th tee they were even.
Driver: TaylorMade M1 2017 (10.5 degrees, set to 11)
Shaft: Fujikura Speeder Evolution 2.0 Tour Spec 661X
Specs: 45.75 inches, tipped 1 inch
Fairway Woods: TaylorMade M1 2017 (17 degrees), TaylorMade M1 2016 (19 degrees)
Shafts: Project X HZRDUS Black 6.5
Irons: TaylorMade Tour Preferred MB ’14 (3-PW)
Shafts: Project X HZRDUS Black 6.5 (105 grams), True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 (3-PW)
Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52-09 and 60-10)
Shaft: KBS Tour Wedge 130X Black Nickel
Putter: TaylorMade TP Collection Juno
Length, Loft, Lie: 35.75 inches, 2.5 degrees, 69 degrees
Golf Ball: TaylorMade TP5x
Republished with permission by Global Golf Post.