OLYMPIA FIELDS, Ill. — Even with a pair of silver trophies in his possession Sunday evening, Jon Rahm still couldn't believe what had just happened in the BMW Championship. And he saw only half of it.
Rahm was on the practice range on the other side of the clubhouse, preparing for a playoff that no one really expected, when Dustin Johnson rolled in a 45-foot birdie putt down the ridge for a birdie to force extra holes at Olympia Fields Country Club.
Moments later, Rahm faced a putt even longer and more difficult on the 18th hole — it was just outside 65 feet, and he had to send it at nearly a 90-degree angle to the top of the ridge. From there, it was a replay of Johnson's putt as it headed down the slope, kissed off the pin and disappeared into the cup.
"I still can't believe what just happened," he said.
Neither could Johnson, going for his second straight victory in the PGA Tour postseason. He could only laugh, both at his putt and Rahm's winner.
"I played an unbelievable putt, got in the playoff, and then Jon made an even more ridiculous putt on top of me," said Johnson, who at least kept his No. 1 spot in both the FedEx Cup standings and the Official World Golf Ranking.
The putts overshadowed a command performance by Rahm, who closed with a 66-64 weekend on a course that played like the toughest test in golf. His only bogey in the final two rounds came on the fifth hole Saturday, when he spaced out and picked up his golf ball from the green without marking it.
There was the 6-iron from 218 yards for his third shot on the par-5 15th after his tee shot went into the trees and barely came out, setting up a key birdie. There was his 30-foot birdie putt on the par-3 16th for a two-shot lead that Johnson erased with two birdies of his own, none bigger than the last one.
"That stretch of waiting for D.J., him making the putt, going in the playoff, me making the putt, then trying to stay mentally in it just in case he made the last putt, it's been a roller coaster, but so much fun," Rahm said.
He put behind him the one-shot penalty that even on Saturday he worried would come back to haunt him, and he thought about it briefly when Johnson had the long birdie putt on the 18th in regulation.
All he could think about on the 18th green in the playoff was finding a way to get to the next hole, knowing he had a putt from one end of the green to the other and Johnson had a 30-footer.
And then it was over. Rahm won for the second time this year, and for the 11th time worldwide in his four years as a pro. His first win came at Torrey Pines when he made a 60-foot eagle putt and wound up winning by three.
"I think we all want the flashy finish, maybe not the stress that comes with it," Rahm said. "But I set out with myself to enjoy even the uncomfortable moments we had out there today. And man, it was fun."
The course that all week felt like a U.S. Open delivered the kind of excitement typical of the Masters.
Rahm tore through the back nine Sunday on his way to a 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 in The Northern Trust at TPC Boston, birdied three of his opening four holes to open a three-shot lead, dropped a pair of shots around the turn, then delivered in the clutch with his 45-foot birdie putt on the last hole for a 67.
Johnson goes into the Tour Championship as the No. 1 seed, meaning he will start the chase Friday for the $15 million prize at Atlanta's East Lake Golf Club at 10 under, two ahead of Rahm, who moved up seven spots to 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 Japan's 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.
Baylor School graduate Harris English (73) tied for 40th at 8 over, dropping one spot in the FedEx Cup.
Mackenzie Hughes, needing a par on the 18th to move into the top 30 in the FedEx Cup who go to East Lake, put his approach shot into the front bunker, splashed out to five feet from the hole and raised both arms when the par putt dropped.
Niemann also moved into the top 30, though he was chasing victory all day.
Adam Long and Kevin Streelman were bumped out, and Long suffered the worst of those fates. He was projected 30th in the FedEx Cup until Corey Conners three-putted from five feet for a double bogey on the final hole. That allowed Billy Horschel to move up enough spots on the leaderboard to move to the 30th and final spot by three points over Long.
Tiger Woods missed all the action. He made a double bogey on his 17th hole for a 71, making this the first time he was over par in all four rounds of a tournament since the Bridgestone Invitational in 2010.
Woods failed to reach the Tour Championship for the second straight year. He now gets two weeks off before the U.S. Open at Winged Foot, and Olympia Fields proved to be a good test for that.
NEWBURGH, Ind. — Brandon Wu overcame a five-shot deficit with a 7-under 65 to win the Korn Ferry Tour Championship, his first victory on the PGA Tour's developmental circuit
The 23-year-old Wu, who finished at 18-under 270, earned $180,000 and a spot in the upcoming U.S. Open. He broke through in his sixth Korn Ferry start of the season and the eighth of his career. He had tied for second two weeks earlier at the Boise Open, which was won by former Baylor School and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga standout Stephan Jaeger.
Third-round leader Greyson Sigg (71) wound up a stroke back in second Sunday, one shot ahead of Vince India (68), Dan McCarthy (71) and Seth Reeves (70).
McCarthy and Sigg will join Wu at Winged Foot after securing their spots Sunday. Jaeger and Curtis Luck will round out the five players who earned a spot in the field through the Korn Ferry Tour Championship Series. Jaeger will play in the United States Golf Association's national championship for the third time; he missed the cut five years ago and tied for 60th in 2017.
From four back
ROGERS, Ark. — Austin Ernst rallied to win the NW Arkansas Championship for her second LPGA Tour title, closing with an 8-under 63 for a two-stroke victory over Sweden's Anna Nordqvist.
Four strokes behind Nordqvist entering the round, Ernst had Sunday's best score, making 10 birdies and two bogeys at Pinnacle Country Club. The 28-year-old former LSU star joined 2014 champion Stacy Lewis as the only American winners of the tournament, which debuted in 2007.
Ernst finished at 20-under 193 in the 54-hole event. The 33-year-old Nordqvist, who has two major titles and six other LPGA Tour wins, 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. She won the 2011 NCAA individual title with the Tigers.
Americans Nelly Korda (67) and Angela Stanford (65) tied for third at 16 under.
Great in playoff
BIRMINGHAM, England — Danish teenager Rasmus Hojgaard rallied from a five-shot deficit with a 7-under 65 to grab a share of the lead in the UK Championship, then won the title on the second playoff hole against South Africa's Justin Walters at the Belfry.
Hojgaard, 19, won for the second time this season; his victory in the Mauritius Open late last year made him the first European Tour winner born after 2000.
Walters closed with a 70 and ran out of crucial putts. He holed a four-footer for par on the 18th hole in regulation, with the ball catching the right edge of the cup before curling in. He then made 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.
Hojgaard calmly knocked in his two-footer to win the sixth and the final event of the tour's U.K. Swing that featured events only in England and Wales. Points earned during that stretch have Hojgaard and Walters in next month's U.S. Open.
It was a tough day for Germany's Martin Kaymer, the two-time major champion who hasn't won since his eight-shot masterpiece victory at the 2014 U.S. Open. He was tied for the lead until a poor chip led to a bogey on the par-5 17th hole. He then missed a 15-foot birdie putt on the final hole to get into the playoff, closed out a 69 and tied for third with France's Benjamin Hebert (69).
SOUTHPORT, England — Joe Long never trailed and pulled away midway through the afternoon round to win the British Amateur at Royal Birkdale Golf Club with a 4-and-3 victory over Joe Harvey in the first all-England championship match since 1999.
Long took a 1-up lead when the eighth hole was conceded, and he never gave it up. He was 2 up after the morning round ended, and it turned in his favor when Harvey made a bogey on the difficult par-4 sixth. Long built a 3-up lead with a birdie on the par-3 seventh — Harvey never got closer than two holes the rest of the way — and closed out the match when both finalists birdied the 15th.
The victory makes Long exempt for the Masters and U.S. Open next year. The 2019 British Amateur champion, James Sugrue of Ireland, is playing those two majors this year after they were rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.