Zach Johnson Wins John Deere Classic, Claims Second Win Of 2012

Zach Johnson defeated Troy Matteson on Sunday to claim the title at the John Deere Classic and his second win of the 2012 season.

Johnson had some help after he double-bogeyed the 18th for the first playoff hole, a shot count Matteson mimicked. Both men hit their second shots into the water during the first playoff hole. Matteson hit his tee-shot into the trees to the right then landed his lay-up in the water hazard. Johnson hooked his second shot directly into the pond from a left side bunker.

Again on the 18th Johnson put a 193-yard second shot to within 12 inches of the cup and ended with a birdie while Matteson missed his 43 foot putt to end the match.

The victory is Johnson’s ninth of his career.

Johnson’s impressive win came after he birdied three of the last six holes, eventually taking the lead until Matteson caught up with a 60-foot eagle putt on the courses 17th hole par-5.

Matteson had led the John Deere Classic since Thursday.

Three-time John Deere Classic defending champion Steve Stricker was in contention for the win until he drove into high grass on the 14th hole and settled for a bogey after taking a penalty drop. Stricker eventually finished 16-under, four strokes back from the lead.

Also finishing just off the lead was Scott Piercy who shot a 65 for a two stroke loss.

Had Steve Stricker won the tournament he would have been just the fifth player in PGA history to win the same tournament four straight times in a row. Other men to accomplish that record are Tom Morris Jr., Walter Hagen, Gene Sarazen and Tiger Woods, the latter who completed four straight tournament wins on two separate occasions.