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WATCH: How Dustin Johnson Won The Northern Trust

Dustin Johnson won his fourth PGA Tour event of the season with a dramatic victory over Jordan Spieth. (Photo Credit: Dennis Schneidler, USA Today Sports)

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.


It was Spieth who started it by making a 19-footer that caught the left edge and curled in for a par at the 17th, keeping him even with Johnson going to the final hole.

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 or the tournament belonged to Spieth.

Punch and counter-punch.

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 the pond, taking advantage of the wind shifting to behind him. It 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 Spieth 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.

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