After Dustin Johnson sank a 43-foot birdie putt on the 18th green to force the playoffs with Rahm, the world No.2 got better on the first hole of the pair’s shootout.
With 66 feet between Rahm and the title, the 25-year-old rolled in a putt that worked its way from the wide left to the hole to clinch the second FedExCup PGA Tour Playoff title.
“I still can’t believe what just happened the last hour of play,” said Rahm.
“That waiting period for DJ, putting him in, going to the playoffs, me putting the putt, then trying to mentally stay in it just in case he made the last putt. It’s been a roller coaster, but so much fun. . “
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On the wire
Sitting six times after the first two rounds, few would have had Rahm as a title contender at Olympia Fields.
And all the faint hopes the Spaniard seemed to pull away at the fifth hole on Saturday when he inexplicably picked up his ball from the green before scoring it and was assessed for a one-stroke penalty, turning a par into a bogey.
But a final round without a 64 bogey meant he was leading on four under when he finished Sunday. And Rahm prayed that the punishment would not come back to haunt him.
“I just hope I don’t lose by one,” Rahm said after his turn on Saturday. “I’m just going to say that. I just hope. And if I do, well, alright, it’s my fault. It’s that simple.”
And it seemed that this mistake could be his downfall. Johnson – who was looking for back-to-back wins after winning the Northern Trust last weekend – staged a grandstand final with Rahm, winding a massive 43-putt birdie to tie the score.
However, the world No.1 was to be outclassed by Rahm in the putting department, as the Spaniard’s twisty 66-footer finally fell to win his second PGA Tour title in 2020.
And although he was stung for the BMW Championship title, Johnson had to tip his hat to Rahm’s monster putt.
“I played an amazing putt, I made the playoffs, then Jon put an even more ridiculous putt on me,” Johnson said. “And then I gave him a good effort (in the playoffs). I thought I did it down the hill. He just lacked a little speed and just missed low.”
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Johnson’s second-place finish means he stays atop the FedExCup playoff standings heading into the final stop next weekend, the Circuit Championship in East Lake.
The top 30 players advanced to the season finale in Atlanta. Rahm’s victory in Illinois places him second in the standings, with American Justin Thomas in third.