New York - Jordan Spieth did not feel like he lost the
Northern Trust in Old Westbury, New York on Sunday, but instead that Dustin
Johnson won it.
Spieth seemed poised to join Justin Thomas as a four-time
winner on the PGA Tour this season when he opened a five-shot lead during the
final round at the Glen Oaks Club.
A noted front-runner, having converted nine of his previous
10 54-hole leads into victories on the PGA Tour – the 2016 Masters the only
exception – Spieth did not do a lot wrong, apart from a double-bogey at the
The Texan failed to clear the water hazard guarding the
green with an eight-iron, and that one mistake with club selection led to a
double-bogey and gave Johnson hope.
Four holes later they were tied and the back nine turned
into an exciting head-to-head battle that Johnson ultimately won at the first
extra hole, after they had finished regulation locked at 13-under-par 267.
Spieth shot a closing 69 to Johnson's 66.
"Mistake on six kind of flustered me for a couple
holes. Fought back nicely on the back nine," Spieth told reporters.
He sank an 18-foot putt to save par on the penultimate hole
of regulation and made a fine two-putt par from 75 feet from the fringe at the
72nd, but could not answer Johnson's birdie in the playoff.
The Texan was not going to let the defeat sour his mood
after a stellar season in which he has won three times, including the British
Open. He needs only to win the PGA Championship to complete the career grand
"I didn't lose this tournament," Spieth said.
"He (Johnson) won it, you know.
"I feel great about my game. It's very difficult
holding a lead on a difficult golf course when the guy you're playing with goes
bogey-free and doesn't even really sniff a bogey and shoots four-under.
"My hat's off to D.J. but no surprise, either."