Jon Rahm tops Dustin Johnson in playoff to win BMW Championship
Even with so few people around, Jon Rahm could hear from the other side of the Olympia Fields clubhouse that Dustin Johnson had made a 45-foot birdie on the final hole to force a playoff Sunday in the BMW Championship.
Resilient as ever, Rahm went out and made some magic of his own.
From one end of the 18th green to the other, Rahm’s putt from just over 65 feet rolled down the ridge and into the cup, setting off a roar so loud it nearly made up for not having spectators.
“I knew how good DJ has been playing. I was expecting nothing else,” Rahm said. “I was fully confident it was going to come into a playoff and hoping to win it. Never did I think I would make another 50-, 60-footer, a couple of breaks in there, to end up winning it.”
The course that all week felt like a U.S. Open delivered the kind of excitement typical of the Masters.
Rahm’s big birdie putt on the first extra hole spared him thoughts of his blunder in the third round, when he picked up his ball on the fifth green without marking it, leading to a one-shot penalty and his only bogey of the weekend.
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He tore through the back nine Sunday on his way to a 6-under 64, the lowest round of the week, to finish at 4-under 276.
Johnson, a 54-hole leader for his third straight tournament and coming off an 11-shot victory last week at the TPC Boston, birdied three of his opening four holes to open a three-shot lead, dropped a pair of shots around the turn and then delivered in the clutch with his 45-foot birdie putt on the last hole for a 67.
It was only good enough to stay at No. 1 by a slim margin.
He also stays at No. 1 in the FedEx Cup going to the Tour Championship, meaning he will start the chase for the $15 million bonus at 10-under par, two ahead of Rahm, the No. 2 seed.
Joaquin Niemann, the 21-year-old from Chile, also made a spirited run with a 67 and was in the lead until a bogey on the 14th and no birdies the rest of the way. He tied for third with Hideki Matsuyama, who had a 69.
Tony Finau closed with a 65 to finish three behind. They were the only five players under par at Olympia Fields.
Rahm won for the second time this year on the PGA Tour, and the 11th time in his career worldwide.
ROGERS, Ark. — Austin Ernst rallied to win the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship for her second LPGA Tour title, closing with an 8-under 63 for a two-stroke victory over Anna Nordqvist.
Four strokes behind Nordqvist entering the round, Ernst had the best score of the day, making 10 birdies and two bogeys at Pinnacle Country Club. She joined 2014 champion Stacy Lewis as the event’s only American winners.
Nordqvist closed with a 69 after opening with rounds of 64 and 62 to take a three-shot lead into the final day.
Ernst opened with consecutive 65s to put herself in position to win for the first time in 144 starts since the 2014 Portland Classic. The 28-year-old former LSU player also won the 2011 NCAA individual title.
Ernst rebounded from a bogey on the par-4 13th with a birdie on the par-5 14th, and took a two-shot lead when Nordqvist, playing in the group behind, bogeyed the 14th. Nordqvist birdied the par-4 16th to pull within one, and Ernst birdied the par-5 18th to push the margin back to two and post at 20 under.
Nordqvist, the 33-year-old Swede with two major titles and six other LPGA Tour wins, also bogeyed the par-4 12th — her first dropped stroke of the week. She played the four par-5 holes in 1 over, while Ernst birdied them all.
Angela Stanford (65) and Nelly Korda (67) tied for third at 16 under.
BIRMINGHAM, England — Danish teenager Rasmus Hojgaard overcame a five-shot deficit with a 7-under 65 and won the U.K. Championship at The Belfry on the second playoff hole against Justin Walters of South Africa.
The 19-year-old Hojgaard won for the second time this season, following his victory in the Mauritius Open late last year that made him the first European Tour winner born after 2000.
Walters closed with a 70 and ran out of crucial putts. He holed a 4-foot par putt on the 18th hole in regulation that caught the right edge of the cup and curled in. He holed a 10-footer for par on the first extra hole at the 18th to extend the playoff. But he was well right of the 18th green the next time, pitched to 15 feet and missed the par putt.
Martin Kaymer was tied for the lead until a poor chip led to bogey on the par-5 17th hole. Kaymer missed a 15-foot birdie putt on the final hole to get into a playoff. He shot 69. Kaymer has not won since his eight-shot victory at Pinehurst No. 2 in the 2014 U.S. Open.
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