Jon Rahm closed with a 66-64 on the weekend at an Olympia Fields golf course that was playing like a major championship, but it will be his 66-foot birdie putt on the first hole of a playoff against Dustin Johnson that will be remembered by golf fans for a long time from his win at the BMW Championship.
Johnson had drained a 45-foot birdie on the final hole of regulation to force the playoff.
“I still can’t believe what just happened, what happened the last hour of play,” Rahm said. “When I had that long putt, my hope was to get myself somewhat of a doable uphill putt, somewhere hopefully within three feet, but that was extremely difficult, so three to six feet. I was just kind of hoping to give myself that type of a chance.”
The victory was Rahm’s second of the season and 11th worldwide in his four years as a tour pro.
Johnson was coming off his dominating win lat week at the Northern Trust at TPC Boston and was the 54 hole leader at Olympia Fields.
“I knew I needed to make birdie to get into the playoff,” Johnson said. “But yeah, I played an unbelievable putt, got in the playoff and then Jon made an even more ridiculous putt on top of me, and then I gave it a good effort. I thought I made it when it was coming down the hill. It just kind of ran out of a little bit of speed and missed just low.”
Johnson remains atop the FedEx Cup standings and will begin next week’s TOUR Championship at 10-under, followed by Rahm at 8-under and Justin Thomas at 7-under.
2014 FedEx Cup champion Billy Horschel was the final man in as he bumped Adam Long by virtue of moving up enough spots on the leaderboard when Corey Connors three-putted from 5 feet for double bogey on No. 18.
Tiger Woods needed a solo 4th place finish to advance to Atlanta, but a tie for 51st gives him next week off and likely means the next time we will see the 15-time major champion will be at the U.S. Open at Winged Foot that gets underway on Sept. 17th.
“This golf course was basically a U.S. Open, with the rough being as high as it is and fairways a little bit narrow,” Woods said. “Look at the scores, and I don’t think that we’ve seen scores like this in a non-major in a very long time. This was a great ramp-up for me for the U.S. Open. I wish I was playing next week, but I’ve got a couple weeks off.”