Zach Johnson's incredible 72nd hole magic sets up win at World Challenge

Zach Johnson
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Zach Johnson reacts to his unlikely 59-yard hole out on the 72nd hole at the World Challenge for a par that sent him to a playoff with Tiger Woods.
By T.J. Auclair
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Series: Golf Buzz

Published: Monday, December 09, 2013 | 9:16 a.m.

In case you missed it on Sunday, there was some serious action down the stretch at the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Calif.

For starters, it looked for a while as though we were in store for another Tiger Woods runaway victory. The world's No. 1 player commanded a four-shout lead with just eight holes to play.

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However, thanks to an amazing late rally, Zach Johnson flew up the leaderboard with four birdies over his final seven holes to draw even with Woods at 13 under and one hole to play in regulation.

For a second, it looked as though the rally would fall short and Johnson had run out of steam -- his second shot, described by many as a shank -- found the water hazard that guards the green on Sherwood's closing par 4.

Johnson was forced to use the drop area, 59 yards from the hole.

What happened next was a jaw-dropping pitch shot that landed right by the hole before zipping back and into the bottom of the cup for the most unlikely of pars.

Watch the video here:

"It's probably No. 1 recovery shot," Johnson said. "You know, I don't know where it will rank. I can think of a number of shots that I had to execute and I came through."

After Woods parred the hole, the two headed to a playoff. It lasted just one hole. Johnson made par, while Woods missed a putt from five feet for par.

Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.

T.J. Auclair is a Senior Interactive Producer for and has covered professional golf since 1998, traveling to over 60 major championships. You can follow him on Twitter, @tjauclair.