DJ wins Northern Trust in playoff against Spieth

Johnson won at the first extra hole to take the lead in the FedEx Cup

DJ wins Northern Trust
DJ wins Northern Trust
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Dustin Johnson beat Jordan Spieth at the first hole of a sudden death playoff to win The Northern Trust and moved to the top of the pile on the FedEx Cup standings.

Dustin Johnson had to hole a tough par putt on the 72nd hole to force a playoff against Open champion Jordan Spieth. He made it and then won the playoff on the first extra hole after hitting a monster drive.

Jordan Spieth started the final round of The Northern Trust with a three-shot advantage and he looked to have the tournament sewn up when he stretched his lead to five after five holes. But Spieth stumbled and DJ pounced. After The Open champion made a double on the 6th and three putted the 9th, and Johnson made birdie, the pair were tied.

They battled hard down the stretch and came to the closing hole locked at the top of the board. DJ hit a poor drive to the right into a bad lie in the rough and elected to lay up and rely on his pitching to save par. Spieth reached the green in two and had a long putt for birdie.

DJ played a decent third but left a testing putt for his four. Spieth lagged his par effort to secure a four, leaving DJ a tough one to force extra holes.

It looked like it wouldn’t drop but turned late and fell in. DJ pumped his fist and a playoff was required to settle the title.

Back to the 18th, DJ decided on a different strategy to regulation play and went for it with his drive, carrying the edge of the lake and hitting the ball 340 yards. He was left with just a lob wedge for his second. He stuck that to four feet and holed for a birdie and the win.

"I feel like the game is finally back in form like it was before the Masters," Johnson said.

Spieth closed with 69 and took his hat off to DJ.

“I didn’t lose the tournament,” Spieth said. “He won it.”

Jordan Spieth swing sequence:

3 Talking points from The Northern Trust

1 – It was a great duel for The Northern Trust between two players who are now ranked 1 and 2 in the world as well as 1 and 2 on the FedEx Cup standings. The pair will play the first two rounds together at next week’s Dell Technologies. "I thought that was a fun show," Spieth said. "I was hoping it wasn't going to be that much fun."

2 – A secondary battle at The Northern Trust was to make it into the top-100 on the FedEx Cup standings and secure a start at TPC Boston next week. Bubba Watson managed it by finishing tied for 10th and David Lingmerth and Harold Varner III also moved up into the top-100.

3 – Rory McIlroy finished in a tie for 34th, fully 15 shots behind Spieth and Johnson. “My game isn't where it needs to be. But it's okay,” McIlroy said. “Conditions were tricky out there. My battling qualities, that's all I really have right now. Sort of a little inconsistent with my swing and sort of with everything else. It’s just a matter of trying to go out there and put the best possible rounds together and see where that leaves me.”

The Northern Trust Glen Oaks Club, Old Westbury, New York Aug 24-27 Purse: $8,750,000 Par: 70

1       Dustin Johnson (USA)   65     69     67     66     267   $1,575,000 2       Jordan Spieth (USA)      69     65     64     69     267   $945,000 T3     Jon Rahm (Esp)             68     68     67     68     271   $507,500 T3     Jhonattan Vegas (Ven)  69     65     72     65     271   $507,500 5       Paul Casey (Eng)           69     68     66     71     274   $350,000 T6     Kevin Chappell (USA)     68     73     64     70     275   $283,281 T6     Jason Day (Aus)            69     71     68     67     275   $283,281 T6     Webb Simpson (USA)    73     66     71     65     275   $283,281 T6     Justin Thomas (USA)     68     69     69     69     275   $283,281

Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly. 

Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?