It wasn’t a major championship, but the final round of the PGA Tour’s Northern Trust was just as good as Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson went toe-to-toe on the final holes.
Johnson would eventually win the tournament with a short putt on the first hole of the sudden-death playoff, but it was how the two golf superstars got there in the first place that was so magical.
Spieth and Johnson both sank huge putts on the final two holes and Spieth added a third huge putt that allowed him to save par on No. 18 and force the playoff.
The first big putt came on the par-3 No. 17. Both golfers ended up in a green-side bunker. While Johnson was able to get his ball close for an up-and-down par, Spieth blasted his sand shot 19 feet from the hole.
But this is Jordan Spieth, the PGA Tour’s Stephen Curry. Nobody is better at sinking putts from distance than Spieth.
On the par-4 No. 18, with the two golfers still tied at 13-under, Johnson hit his drive into the rough and had to lay up. Facing a blind shot to the hole, Johnson hit his approach shot 18 feet past the hole.
Meanwhile, Spieth’s second shot ended up to the right of the green, leaving him with a 75-foot putt that played more like 100 feet because of the big bend. Commentator Nick Faldo speculated that if Spieth could get the ball within six feet he would have played it well.
Spieth didn’t sink it this time, but negotiated the break perfectly and left it 18 inches from the hole, close enough to save par.
That meant Johnson would have to sink his 18-foot putt to force the playoff.
The ball caught the right side of the hole, rolled around to the left side, and fell in.
Johnson then did something we don’t see very often: he showed some emotion. It is easy to imagine that PGA Tour and Northern Trust tournament officials were celebrating in a similar manner.