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The Takeaway

Dustin Johnson wins The NT

by Mo Yoshimoto
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET


Old Westbury, NY



Beginning the final round three shots back, 36-hole co-leader and World No. 1 Dustin Johnson painted a bogey-free 4-under-par 34-32=66 to catch 54-hole leader and playing competitor Jordan Spieth on 13-under 267, and then defeated him with birdie-3 on the first hole of sudden death, the par-4 18th.


The season’s first postseason event did not disappoint, with two of the game’s elite battling it out in the final twosome on Sunday at Glen Oaks Club, while 36-hole co-leader Jhonattan Vegas (65) and first-time member though not a rookie Jon Rahm (68) briefly took a run at the duo but eventually shared 3rd place, four adrift.



Final Leaderboard:


P1- Dustin Johnson 65-69-67-66 (-13)

P2- Jordan Spieth 69-65-64-69 (-13)

T3- Jhonattan Vegas 69-65-72-65 (-9)

T3- Jon Rahm 68-68-67-68 (-9)

5th- Paul Casey 69-68-66-71 (-6)



Johnson, a pre-tourney 14/1 outright, bags his 16thPGA TOUR title in his 218th career event, eighth in come-from-behind fashion.


16 wins


  • 15 stroke play
  • Eight come from behind
  • First win in sudden death (record: 1-1)
  • Second straight win as 36-hole leader/co-leader (2017 Genesis)
  • Second straight come-from-behind win (2017 WGC-Mexico)
  • Four of eight come-from-behind wins have been from three shots or greater.
  • Largest Deficit: five shots at 2015 WGC-Cadillac (Doral) 



The 2011 winner at Plainfield CC in NJ (shortened to 54 holes), claims his fourth FedExCup (FEC) Playoffs victory in 30 events, second in his last three tries (2016, BMW Championship):



30 FEC Playoffs starts

16 top 10s

9 top 5s

4 wins


  • 2017 THE NORTHERN TRUST: came from three back; 4-under 66; PLAYOFF
  • 2016 BMW Championship: 54-hole leader by three; won by three
  • 2011 The Barclays (reduced to 54 holes): 54-hole leader by two; R4 cancelled
  • 2010 BMW Championship: came from two back; 2-under 69; won by one



The Coastal Carolina product adds a fourth TOUR title this season in 17 events – first since the WGC-Match Play 10 starts ago – tying Justin Thomas for the season lead.



Johnson’s Season:


17 starts

14 made cuts

3 missed cuts


12 top 25s

8 top 10s

6 top 5s


Form: P1-T13-T17-T8-T54



20 (of 45) winners this season had a top-25 finish the start prior (44.4%)



Dustin Johnson: P1, NORTHERN TRUST; after T13, PGA

Henrik Stenson: 1st, Wyndham; after T13, PGA






9 starts

7 made cuts

2 missed cuts


7 top 25s

5 top 10s

3 top 5s

2 wins



2017 Tournament Winners (44 events/45 winners):



38 (of 45) winners this season were 33-years-old or younger


26 winners were in their 20s

14 were in their 30s (Johnson, age: 33)

5 were in their 40s




Field Scoring Average:



This was the 11th playing of THE NORTHERN TRUST (in the FEC era), first at Glen Oaks Club.


7,346 yards; par 70 (35-35)



R1: 70.825

R2: 71.176

R3: 70.314

R4: 71.657


Total: 70.995


Johnson: 65-69-67-66 for 16.973 SG: Total

Spieth: 69-65-64-69 for 16.973 SG: Total



Johnson’s Position by Round:


R1: 2nd

R2: T1  

R3: 2nd

R4: T1




Johnson’s overall TOUR record as 36-hole leader/co-leader



Spieth’s Position by Round:


R1: T20

R2: T1   

R3: 1st

R4: T1




Spieth’s overall TOUR record as 36-hole leader/co-leader



Spieth’s overall TOUR record as 54-hole leader/co-leader




How Johnson Won on Sunday:



After opening in 65-69-67, the World No. 1 began in solo 2nd, three back.


Playing out of the final twosome with Spieth, he hit 10 (of 14) fairways and 13 greens in regulation (GIR), posting 2.001 SG: Off-the-Tee and 1.776 SG: Approach-the-Green.


The South Carolinian opened with five pars, missing two birdie tries at holes 3 and 5, both from inside of nine feet, and quickly found himself five shots back after Spieth circled those same two holes, the latter from 28’0”.


By the break however, Johnson had trimmed Spieth’s lead to just one, taking advantage of two, two-shot swings:


Par-3 sixth:

Spieth: double bogey after coming up short and in the water

Johnson: par


Par-4 ninth:

Spieth: bogey (missed par-saver from 4’8”)

Johnson: birdie (from 7’1”)



Leaderboard at that point:



1st- Spieth -11 (thru 9 holes)

2nd- Johnson -10 (thru 9 holes)

T3- Vegas -8 (thru 15)

T3- Rahm -8 (thru 11)



Johnson circled the par-4 10th (from 10’0”) to tie Spieth and each player carded 2-putt birdie-4s at 13.


Spieth regained a one-shot lead with birdie-3 at 14 (8’3”) but Johnson quickly tied with birdie at the par-3 15th from 17’7”.


Spieth had a prime scoring try at the par-4 16th, missing birdie from 6’3”, and both players managed up-and-down pars from a greenside bunker at 17, Spieth curling in an 18’11” version.


At the par-4 18th, Johnson went first, slicing his drive into the deep rough, forcing a layup to 87 yards.


Spieth found the fairway, leaving 187 yards, but half-shanked his second to the right fairway, 75’9” away. Using the flat stick twice, he was able to save par.


Now Johnson, with a gap wedge, hit his third to 17’5” and then drained the speedy down-hiller, barely catching the right edge of the cup to force sudden death.


Back to the dogleg-left 18th, Spieth went first and hit his drive 314 yards in the right fairway, leaving 175 yards. He hit his second 182 yards to the back fringe leaving a 24-footer for birdie, which he missed.


Johnson took a way-more aggressive line off the tee, nuking his drive 341 yards over the lake that guards the left side of the hole, leaving 95 yards. He lasered a gap wedge to 43 inches, which he calmly dropped for the win.




R4 Stats Comparison (ranking of 70 players):



SG: Off-the-Tee:

Johnson: 2.001 (1st)

Spieth: 1.820 (3rd)


SG: Approach-the-Green:

Johnson: 1.776 (11th)

Spieth: -1.427 (59th)



Johnson: 21’11” (1st)

Spieth: 35’9” (T27)


SG: Around-the-Green:

Johnson: 0.391 (23rd)

Spieth: 1.246 (8th)


SG: Putting:

Johnson: 1.489 (16th)

Spieth: 1.018 (20th)


SG: Total:

Johnson: 5.657 (T4)

Spieth: 2.657 (T12)




How Johnson Won the Tournament:



Ranked 1stin Total Bogeys, 1stin SG: Off-the-Tee, 1stin SG: Tee-to-Green, 1stin Proximity to Hole and 1stin Scrambling



Johnson’s Weekly Stats (ranking of 70 players):



Birdies: 17 (T9)

Bogeys: 4 (1st)


Par-3 Scoring: 2.94 (T9)

Par-4 Scoring: 3.88 (2nd)

Par-5 Scoring: 4.25 (T3)


Driving Distance (all drives): 303.0 yards (4th)

Driving Accuracy: 42/56 (T8) at 75.00%

GIR: 56/72 (T3) at 77.78%

Proximity: 25’1” (1st)

Putts per GIR: 1.732 (6th)

Total Putts: 114 (T9)

Putts by Round: 29-29-28-28

Scrambling: 13/16 (1st) at 81.25%


SG: Off-the-Tee: 5.320 (1st)

SG: Approach-the-Green: 7.258 (2nd)

SG: Around-the-Green: 1.734 (21st)

SG: Putting: 2.661 (24th)

SG: Tee-to-Green: 14.310 (1st)




Updated Top 10 in FEC standings (points):



With FEC points quadrupled, Johnson collects 2,000 FEC points for the victory and regains the No. 1 spot in the FEC standings.



1. Dustin Johnson (4,466); UP three

2. Jordan Spieth (3,871); UP one

3. Justin Thomas (3,044); DOWN one

4. Hideki Matsuyama (2,869); DOWN three

5. Jon Rahm (2,404); UP one

6. Rickie Fowler (1,996); DOWN one

7. Brooks Koepka (1,768)

8. Daniel Berger (1,717)

9. Charley Hoffman (1,694); UP two

10. Jhonattan Vegas (1,673); UP 19


Note: The last five FEC champions were no worse than 6thin the standings entering the TOUR Championship.




FEC Playoffs Implications:


Bubba Watson (T10): from 113th to 72nd

Harold Varner III (T20): from 123rd to 91st

David Lingmerth (T29): from 103rd to 87th



Seung-Yul Noh (CUT): from 100th to 110th

Robert Garrigus (CUT): from 99th to 109th

Byeong Hun An (CUT): from 96th to 102nd  




Updated Top 10 in OWGR (this week’s finish):



With a Strength of Field rating of 737 (down slightly from 738 last year), Johnson banks 74.00 world-ranking points and solidifies his hold as No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking, 2.769 average points ahead on new-No. 2 Spieth.



1. Dustin Johnson (P1)

2. Jordan Spieth (P2); UP one

3. Hideki Matsuyama (CUT); DOWN one

4. Rory McIlroy (T34)

5. Jon Rahm (T3); UP three, career high

6. Justin Thomas (T6); UP one

7. Sergio Garcia (idle); DOWN two

8. Henrik Stenson (T17); DOWN two

9. Jason Day (T6)

10. Rickie Fowler (T20)







32 tourneys this season with a traditional draw:





EARLY/late: 20 (62.5%)


LATE/early: 12 (Johnson)



A total of 70 players from a field of 120 made the 36-hole cut of 2-over 142:



37 (of 60) EARLY/late


33 (of 59) LATE/early; 1 WD



16 players finished in the top 10:


8 EARLY/late: Jordan Spieth (P2), Jason Day (T6), Justin Thomas (T6), Bubba Watson (T10), Patrick Cantlay (T10), Chez Reavie (T10), Justin Rose (T10), Matt Kuchar (T10)


8 LATE/early: Dustin Johnson (P1), Jhonattan Vegas (T3), Jon Rahm (T3), Paul Casey (5th), Webb Simpson (T6), Kevin Chappell (T6), Louis Oosthuizen (T6), Robert Streb (T10)




Yahoo! Low Rounds:



R1: Russell Henley (64)

R2: Matt Kuchar (64)

R3: Jordan Spieth, Kevin Chappell (64)

R4: Jhonattan Vegas, Charley Hoffman, Webb Simpson (65)




Leader/co-leaders by Round:



R1: Russell Henley: Drops to 0-for-2 as 18-hole leader/co-leader


R2: Dustin Johnson: Improves to 7-for-12 as 36-hole leader/co-leader

R2: Jordan Spieth: Drops to 6-for-11

R2: Jhonattan Vegas: Drops to 1-for-5

R2: Rickie Fowler: Drops to 0-for-6


R3: Jordan Spieth: Drops to 9-for-15 as 54-hole leader/co-leader




Jordan Spieth: After kicking off in 69-65-64, the pre-tourney co-fave co-led after 36 holes and took a three-shot lead into R4.


Playing out of the final twosome, he hit 11 (of 14) fairways and conjured 10 GIR, posting 1.820 SG: Off-the-Tee but -1.427 SG: Around-the-Green.


The 24-year-old, who drops to 4-3 in extra time, went out in 1-over, erasing birdies at Nos. 3 and 5 with double bogey-5 at 6 and bogey-5 at 9, but still led by one.


He came home in blemish-free 2-under, circling 13 and 14 and saving par from 18'11" at the 17th, but DJ caught him with three back-nine birdies.


This is Spieth’s fourth top 25 in five appearances and second straight top 10 (T10/2016).



17 FEC Playoffs starts

7 top 10s

4 top 5s

2 runner-up (T2, 2013 TOUR Championship)

1 win (2015 TOUR Championship)



Spieth’s Season:


20 starts

17 made cuts

3 missed cuts


14 top 25s

9 top 10s

8 top 5s


Form: P2-T28-T13-1-P1-T35



Chasing his 12 TOUR title in his 124th career start (116 pro), the Texan settles for his 12th career runner-up.




TOUR Rookies &/or First-Timers:



TOUR Rookies: 11

Top-10 finishes: 1



Patrick Cantlay: Making his FEC Playoffs debut, the TOUR rookie and World No. 120 tacked on an even-par 35-35=70 in the final round to conclude on 4-under 276 (67-70-69-70), good for a seven-way T10 and top-rookie honors.


It’s the third time this season that he’s been low rookie (2nd, Valspar; T35, Memorial).


Remarkably, the 25-year-old, who met the terms of a Major Medical Extension with solo 2nd at the Valspar in March, now ranks 50th in the FEC standings on just 10 starts, but, he’s 10-for-10 on the season with two top-3 finishes. The UCLA product led the field this week in GIR at 87.50% (63/72).



Cantlay’s Season:


10 starts

10 made cuts


5 top 25s

3 top 10s

2 top 5s

Form: T10-T33-T48-T35-T22


FEC rank: 50 (up 28)

OWGR: 99 (career high, up 21)




First-Timers: 21

Top-10 finishes: 2



Jon Rahm: Like Cantlay, the first-time member though not a rookie was making his Playoffs debut and orchestrated a 2-under-par 35-33=68 in the final round to wrap on 9-under 271 (68-68-67-68), good for a two-way T3, four adrift of the playoff.


The 22-year-old Spaniard was one of only four players (Johnson, D., Spieth, Thomas), that put all four rounds in the 60s on the challenging par-70 layout.



Rahm’s Season:


20 starts

18 made cuts

2 missed cuts


11 top 25s

8 top 10s

7 top 5

Form: T3-T58-T28-T44-CUT-CUT-T2


FEC rank: 5 (up one)

OWGR: 5 (career high, up three)




Consecutive Top 10s on TOUR:



Webb Simpson (T6-3rd)

Jason Day (T6-T9)

Justin Thomas (T6-1st)

Louis Oosthuizen (T10-T2)

Matt Kuchar (T10-T9)         




Consecutive Top-10 streaks ended:



Rickie Fowler (T20-T5-9th)

Hideki Matsuyama (CUT-T5-1st)


Richy Werenski (T49-T10-P2); eliminated from Playoffs

Robert Garrigus (CUT-T6-T5-10th); eliminated from Playoffs




Leaders in Top-10 Finishes:



Justin Thomas (10 in 22 events)


Rickie Fowler (9 in 18 events)

Jordan Spieth (9 in 20)


Dustin Johnson (8 in 17)

Jon Rahm (8 in 20)


Hideki Matsuyama (7 in 19)

Paul Casey (7 in 21)

Matt Kuchar (7 in 23)

Kevin Kisner (7 in 25)

Brian Harman (7 in 27)

Charley Hoffman (7 in 28)


Rory McIlroy (6 in 12)

Brooks Koepka (6 in 21)

Daniel Berger (6 in 23)

Graham DeLaet (6 in 24)

Tony Finau (6 in 26)




Consecutive Top 25s on TOUR:



6- Rickie Fowler (T20-T5-9th-T22-T3-T5)


5- Henrik Stenson (T17-1st-T13-17-T11)

5- Paul Casey (5th-T13-T5-T11-T5)


4- Dustin Johnson (P1-T13-T17-T8)


2- Harold Varner III (T20-T10)

2- Jason Dufner (T20-T14)

2- Patrick Reed (T20-T2)

2- Jason Kokrak (T25-T16)




Field Breakdown:



21 of the Top 25 in OWGR were in the field


9 finished in the top 10:



No. 1 Dustin Johnson (P1)

No. 3 Jordan Spieth (P2)

No. 7 Justin Thomas (T6)

No. 8 Jon Rahm (T3)

No. 9 Jason Day (T6)

No. 13 Matt Kuchar (T10)

No. 15 Justin Rose (T10)

No. 17 Paul Casey (5th)

No. 20 Louis Oosthuizen (T10)



Other Top-10 Finishers:


No. 30 Kevin Chappell (T6)

No. 48 Jhonattan Vegas (T3)

No. 49 Webb Simpson (T6)

No. 54 Bubba Watson (T10)

No. 120 Patrick Cantlay (T10)

No. 122 Chez Reavie (T10)

No. 133 Robert Streb (T10)



Other Notables:


No. 2 Hideki Matsuyama (CUT); pre-tourney co-fave (10/1)

No. 4 Rory McIlroy (T34)

No. 6 Henrik Stenson (T17)

No. 10 Rickie Fowler (T20)

No. 12 Brooks Koepka (T49)

No. 14 Francesco Molinari (CUT)

No. 21 Patrick Reed (T20); defender