Northwestern Mutual World Challenge 2013 Leaderboard: Day 4 Scores and Analysis

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistDecember 8, 2013

THOUSAND OAKS, CA - DECEMBER 08:  Zach Johnson hits his tee shot on the second hole during the final round of the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge at Sherwood Country Club on December 8, 2013 in Thousand Oaks, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Zach Johnson won the 2013 Northwestern Mutual World Challenge after a one-hole playoff with Tiger Woods.

The two put on a great show down the stretch. Birdies on 17 and 18 meant Johnson got to 13-under and into a tie with Woods.

On the playoff hole, Johnson would earn par, while Woods saw his four-foot par putt lip out, a shot befitting of the way he finished the fourth round.

It's the second title of 2013 for the 2007 Masters champion.

Here's a look at the top half of final leaderboard.

T1Zach Johnson-13
T1Tiger Woods-13
T3Bubba Watson-9
T3Matt Kuchar-9
5Webb Simpson-7
6Graeme McDowell-5
7Ian Poulter-3
8Jim Furyk-2
T9Bill Haas-1
T9Jason Day-1

The way Johnson stormed back to win was something you'd never have imagined happening a few years ago. Woods has always been money in the final round, especially when he's protecting a lead after Round 3. Few golfers in history have closed in the way that Woods has.

However, he struggled on the last few holes to open the door for Johnson, and he was able to out-Tiger Tiger. Woods wasn't striking the ball well and was missing critical shots, while everything was going right for Johnson.'s Jason Sobel noted how poorly Woods performed on the back nine.

Woods conceded that Johnson was the better golfer over the final three holes, per Golf Channel's Tiger Tracker.

As much as fans want to see the Tiger of old, his problems and Johnson's subsequent push made for a thrilling finish.

Sobel tried to make an NFL equivalent in order to better describe the situation to those football fans who had just flipped channels.

The playoff nearly never happened.

Things looked bleak for Johnson on No. 18 after he hit his second shot into the water. That meant Johnson would pretty much have to hole his fourth shot from the drop zone in order to stay alive.

And that's what he did.

Woods deserves some credit for a shot out of the bunker on 18 that set up an easy par putt and forced the playoff.

History is written by the winners, so much of the attention will focus on Johnson and that fantastic shot on 18.

It was a great way to close out 2013.

What will also get lost in the drama of the playoff was the performance of Matt Kuchar. Had it not been for a poor third round, he could have figured in the final outcome.

Kuchar was in a great position after two rounds, but a 76 in Round 3 meant that he was out as a contender. Even a five-under in the final round couldn't close the gap between he and the leaders. A double-bogey on No. 10 also did him no favors.

In the end, Johnson and Woods will dominate the narrative and rightfully so. The nature of golf means you don't get a lot of head-to-head battles late into tournaments. When you do have two guys going toe-to-toe, it always makes for an exciting final day.


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