At around 9.30pm last night I tuned in to watch the last few holes of the World Challenge at Sherwood Country Club thinking I would be watching Tiger Woods close out the event which he seemed to be leading comfortably about an hour prior. How wrong I could be!
As I turned it over Tiger and Zach Johnson were battling in out and Tigers four shot lead had been cut down to one and they were both playing the par 5 16th. They both made birdie after both making superb up and downs, Johnson nearly holed his third with a pitch from 80 yards and Tiger made a tough chip from the left side of the green look easy and got up and down to keep his one shot lead going into the 17th.
Johnson seemed to be in the zone at this stage and had the honour on the tee, to which he pitched an 8 iron past the flag and span it back to about 3 feet. Tiger proceeded to hit his 9 iron to the left hand side of the green to which he managed a par three, but Johnson tapped in his birdie putt to tie for the lead heading to the 18th.
Johnson had the honour and hit his drive down the left hand side of the fairway and used the contours to bring it down to the middle with the perfect angle in.
Tiger pulled the 3 wood from the bag and tugged it left into the first cut of rough and was slightly blocked out by the trees with a hanging lie. He had to try and draw the ball around the big tree 75 yards infront of the green, and with the ball below his feet could only manage to find the deep bunker on the right hand side of the green. Advantage to Johnson.
From the perfect lie in the fairway Johnson pulled out a 7 iron and just had to find the middle of the green to really put the pressure on Woods, unfortunately for Johnson the pressure got too much and he hit what looked like a half shank into the water on the right to his and the crowds dismay. Advantage Woods.
So it was the dropzone for Johnson, he had to try and get up and down to put any kind of pressure on Tiger. He had around 70 yards to the flag and hit the most wonderful low skidding shot that pitched just short of the hole, checked and span in for par, which even got a raised smile from Tiger. Advantage Johnson.
Tiger now had to get up and down from the deep 8ft bunker with not a lot of green to work with and a really tough stance. Out came the lob wedge and with a full swing he managed to get it to two feet and holed the putt for a par to take it to a play-off.
Both players hit perfect drives on the first play-off hole, and it was Tiger to hit first with around 165 yards to the pin, out came the 7 iron but he could only manage to find virtually the exact spot in the same bunker. Advantage Johnson.
Johnson slightly further up the fairway needed to find the green and that’s exactly what he did, about 25 feet to the left of the pin.
Tiger played another great shot from the sand but had left himself a testing downhill 3 ft putt. Johnson now had a putt to win but narrowly missed on the high side so Tiger had to hole to carry on the play-off. He hit the putt firmly and it caught the left hand side of the hole and lipped out to give Johnson victory.
It really was great to watch and a great way to the end the year.