Johnson denies Cameron Smith in LIV Golf Tulsa playoff
Former world No.1 Dustin Johnson has overcome a triple bogey to force a playoff and then win LIV Golf Tulsa for his first victory of the year.
Johnson birdied the 18th in regulation play, then again on the first extra hole to deny Australia's reigning British Open champion Cameron Smith and South African Branden Grace on Sunday.
The victory was Johnson's second since he joined LIV Golf a year ago. He also won outside Boston in a three-man playoff.
This one required some clutch shots on the closing hole at rain-soaked Cedar Ridge for Johnson to take down a rampant Smith and Grace.
Johnson, who closed with a three-under 67, was trailing Smith (61) and Grace (65) by one shot when he hit his drive into the left rough on the 18th.
He was partially blocked by a tree but hit a sand wedge over the corner of the tree to about 12 feet and made the birdie.
Smith was on the range waiting, having already birdied the 18th for his nine-under 61, tying the LIV record that Grace set in the opening round. Grace two-putted from 35 feet on the final hole, which put him in a playoff and assured his South African team "Stinger" their first team win of the year.
In the playoff, all three players were roughly on the same line, with Grace putting from the fringe. Grace missed to the left, Johnson holed his putt from 15 feet and Smith pushed his from 12 feet to the right.
All of this was made possible by Johnson making a mess of the par-3 10th hole. He had a shot bounce down a path into the water, a muddy lie and missed 4-foot putt. It added to a triple bogey, allowing Grace to take the lead.
"Everything I could do wrong, I did wrong on the hole," Johnson said.
"To fight back and birdie 18 two times in a row when I had to, I'm really happy with that."
He was equally happy to see a good result heading into the second major of the year. The PGA Championship starts Thursday at Oak Hill.
Until Sunday, Johnson had not finished closer than within five shots of the winner in five LIV Golf events. He was never a factor at the Masters. Now he feels as though his game is ready.
"I'm really playing well," Johnson said.
Talor Gooch, coming off two straight LIV Golf victories, played before a home state crowd in Oklahoma and finished in a tie for 36th.