The Fed-Ex Cup started with a bang at the Northern Trust Championship. It turned into a 2-man duel on the back nine between two of the best players in the game, Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth. Johnson birdied #10 to tie Spieth. They both birdied #13 and then Spieth took the lead with a birdie on #14. Johnson answered him with a birdie on #15. Spieth missed a 10-ft putt on #16 that could have given him the advantage. They both pushed their tee shots into the bunker at the par 3 #17 but got up-and-down for pars.
On the 467 yd #18, Johnson was overly cautious with the lake and pushed his drive into the right rough. He was only five feet off the fairway but had an awful lie and had to lay up to 100 yards. From there he hit it 15 ft above the hole. Spieth was in the middle of the fairway but hit a poor iron shot to 50 feet. Spieth hit his lag putt to one foot for a tap in par. Johnson then made his 15-ft downhill putt for par and they finished tied at -13.
The playoff went back to #18 again. Spieth hit a beautiful drive right down the middle 174 yards to the hole. Johnson then aggressively took on the lake and hit a huge drive over the lake and was left with only 95 yards to the pin. Kudos to CBS for providing the laser tracker on their tee shots. That feature adds so much to the TV viewing experience.
Spieth hit a good 7 iron into the green but it took one hard bounce to the back fringe about 20 ft away.
Johnson hit his half wedge to 3 feet. His wedge play is much improved this year and he showed it here.
Spieth missed his difficult 20 ft downhill putt and Johnson tapped in his putt for the winning birdie. This was Johnson’s 4th victory of the season and 16th of his career. He is now in the driver’s seat for the Fed-Ex Cup playoffs and also adds his name to the mix for Player of the Year.