Two U.S. Open champions dueling it out on Long Island. In a little less than 10 months, that would make for a tasty storyline for the 118th U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills. On Sunday, some 64 miles to the west, two of the last three U.S. Open champions waged an epic back-nine battle at Glen Oaks Club in Old Westbury in the first FedEx Cup Playoff event.
World No. 1 Dustin Johnson, the 2016 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont Country Club, outlasted the man who edged him by a stroke a year prior at Chambers Bay, Jordan Spieth, in a sudden-death playoff for the Northern Trust title.
The 33-year-old Johnson, who hadn’t won since beating Jon Rahm in the final match of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play on March 26 at Austin (Texas) Country Club, holed a 17-foot par putt on the 72nd hole for a final-round, 4-under 66 to force the playoff. He then ripped the longest drive of the week on the par-4 18th hole – the first playoff hole – to set up a 60-degree wedge approach to 4 feet for a winning birdie.
“It was fun to be in the hunt again and know that my game is going to hold up under pressure,” said Johnson, who notched his fourth victory of the season. “I feel like the game is finally back in form like it was before the Masters.”