21 Jul 2015

Johnson wins Open Championship

2:45 pm on 21 July 2015

American golfer Zach Johnson has claimed the second major of his career after winning the British Open at St Andrews in a four-hole playoff over Australian Marc Leishman and South African Louis Oosthuizen.

2015 Open Championship winner Zach Johnson

2015 Open Championship winner Zach Johnson Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Johnson negotiated the four-hole playoff at the Old Course over holes one, two, 17 and 18 in one under to beat Oosthuizen by a stroke and Leishman by three.

The American birdied the second hole to extend an advantage and when all three bogeyed the 17th the American took a one-shot advantage to the last.

He had a chance from just over three metres to seal the win but missed before Oosthuizen, the 2010 champion at St Andrews, lipped out a 10-foot effort to extend the playoff.

The 39-year-old wiped tears from his eyes before hugging his wife as he walked off the 18th green to pick up the coveted Claret Jug and a first prize of $2.7 million.

He's also the first golfer to win his first two majors at Augusta National in America and St. Andrews, the home of golf.

Johnson gave an emotional response when asked what it sounded like to hear his name read out as the 2015 Open champion.

"It sounds beautiful, it still sounds extremely surreal, the tone to it is very humbling but I feel blessed to be champion, I feel honoured to be part of this history of this game... my name on that trophy, especially with the names before me is, humbling and surreal are two words that come to mind."

The trio had earlier finished at 15-under-par in an excitement filled final round.

Oosthuizen and Johnson birdied the final hole to get their place while Leishman had a long putt to ultimately win outright but missed on the left.

Two-time major champion Jordan Spieth finished one shot back in a tie for second with Australian Jason Day.

The 21-year-old American had numerous chances to attempt the grand slam of golf, but bogeyed the par-four 17th to end his chances.

New Zealand golfer Ryan Fox ended his first Open championship on a high with a closing round of 67, five under par, playing alongside the German great Bernhard Langer.

Fox outplayed the 62-year-old dual Masters champion by four shots, the New Zealander finishing four-under par for the championship in a tie for 49th.

The Open is likely to be held at St Andrews again for the 150th edition of golf's oldest major in 2021.

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