Zach Johnson clinched his second major title after winning the 144 Open Championship in a play-off against Louis Oosthuizen and Marc Leishman at St Andrews.
The South African could not hole his par putt from four feet, though, and with Johnson getting up and down from the rough at the back of the green, he carried a one-shot lead to the last, the 18th.
Most eyes were on 21-year-old Spieth.
Spieth says that tournament set him up for his Masters win in April and he since won the US Open before falling just one stroke short of the three-man playoff at the British Open early Tuesday. Needing to sink this putt, he gave it a good run, but just missed and the hopes for a grand slam were gone.
Jordan Spieth didn’t watch all of it; only the end when he emerged to shake the winner’s hand. “He left the door open on 17 (where Johnson made a bogey), and I didn’t take advantage of it”.
The Australian bogeyed the hole while his two rivals birdied, meaning he was virtually out of the running from that point on, but Leishman took the misfortune with good grace. Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods – the three biggest names in golf over the past 50 years – were the only other players to capture the Masters and U.S. Open in a bid to sweep the four professional majors in the same year.
He said thinking about Johnson’s 2007 Masters win at August National still gives him chills.
“I’ve been working very hard to try and accomplish my first major, and you know, it’s a little frustrating with how it finished”, Day, who now has nine top 10s in 20 majors without a win, said. I’m humbled by this. “I feel blessed to be the champion and honored to be a part of the history of this game”. But I do know that this is the birthplace of a great game and a place that has fantastic fans.
Zach Johnson’s emotions got the best of him after winning the British Open. His birdie attempt up the slope stayed inches left of the cup, and he tapped in for a 69.
If Oliver Schniederjans had been offered a nine-under par finish at a weather-ravaged British Open he would have signed instantly thinking the silver medal for best amateur was in the bag. Spieth shot 14-under-par for the four rounds, and was lurking behind the leading scorers during his final 36 holes.
Johnson, 39, fought back tears after being hugged by his wife Kim, and Spieth was one of the first to congratulate his compatriot on the victory. Forget the butter swing, forget the near back-to-back wins at St. Andrews and (please) forget the blown putt on the Road Hole in the playoff.
Torrential rain on Friday and high winds on Saturday had seen to that. But what a show. Johnson adds the claret jug to the green jacket he won in 2007.
A total of 14 players are within four shots of the lead. A lot of them fell away.
Spieth shot a respectable, three-under 69 Monday, but a tough double bogey on the eighth hole ultimately sunk his round. He doesn’t hit it a mile, but when he finds his rhythm he has enough game to get it around and, like Spieth, he is lethal with the putter. The 27-year-old Australian, who revealed he was suffering from vertigo after collapsing at the US Open, has now had six top 10s in his last 11 majors, including three runner-up spots.