American Johnson produced a brilliant birdie putt on his last hole to move 15 under but Leishman showed nerves of steel with his next shot on the 15, retaining his one shot lead with a 10 footer just as Johnson was making his way for the clubhouse.
“I made a mental mistake”, said Spieth.
Johnson’s dancing caddie, Damon Green, shared the image of Spieth on Facebook.
Johnson bounced straight back by gently caressing a 35-foot birdie putt into the cup on the 72nd green, letting out a roar of delight as the ball disappeared into the hole before squatting down and producing a theatrical fist pump.
While the Grand Slam dream is over, Spieth still has a chance to get his hands on an even bigger – at least in terms of literal size – trophy.
Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor.
His shot was too far right and not hard enough, and it rolled to the edge of the Valley of Sin short of the green.
Harrington, who won the Open in 2008, birdied three of the front five holes, but faded on the back with three bogeys including a dropped shot on the last hole.
His wins were eight years apart – the Masters in 2007 and the British Open in 2015, and in both instances he came in under the radar.
An emotional Johnson told the network, “I’m grateful”.
“I can’t describe the magnitude as to what he (Spieth) was going through because I’ve never been in that position certainly”, said Johnson.
Overall on Monday, there were four outright lead changes in the final round, capping off a memorable Open Championship at St. Andrews.
“I feel like it’s one where you’ve just got to hit it left and you’ve got to hit it 290 in the air and it just doesn’t favour me”.
He missed crucial birdie putts on the 17th and 18th holes that could have extended the play-off. And there’s no reason to believe that Spieth can’t continue to contend – and win – major titles for a long time to come. “We fought hard. Very proud of a role model and friend of mine, Zach Johnson”.
“I just wish I’d given myself a little better opportunity”, Spieth, who would have become the youngest ever world number one had he won, said. He’ll be favored there again, with a chance to join some elite company as a victor of three majors in one year.
When Jordan Spieth nailed an incredible birdie on 16 to grab a share of the lead at the Open Championships, history seemed inevitable.
Johnson edged Oosthuizen by a stroke when the South African missed a 12-footer birdie putt at the 18th hole.
Spieth now goes to the PGA Championship with a tiny piece of history left to chase. He didn’t play the PGA because the dates overlapped with the Open that year. Spieth shot 14-under-par for the four rounds, and was lurking behind the leading scorers during his final 36 holes. Rain washed away most of the early weekend play, which forced a rare Monday finish to the British Open. The player with the best total score from the four extra holes would be declared the victor. But, having finally got over a few niggling injuries, Oosthuizen surely won’t have to wait until 2021 to be challenging for another major.