Johnson Joins Golf’s Elite With British Open Victory
Zach Johnson’s wait for a second major title lasted eight years, so playing another four holes in a playoff for the British Open on Monday title was not overwhelming.
Johnson outlasted Louis Oosthuizen and Marc Leishman in the playoff at St. Andrews to claim his first major title since the Masters in 2007. Johnson took home the Claret Jug, winning by a stroke when Oosthuizen missed a 12-foot birdie putt at the 18th hole.
"These are the things you dream about," Johnson said in a press conference afterward. "These are the things you've worked to get to. I'm humbled because there's a lot of individuals that have put me in this position that trust in me, and I trust in them.
“I'm humbled by, I think, the talent that I've been given, and I'm humbled right now because of what's in my lap and the names that are etched on this piece of metal that is very special."
Johnson joins elite company as the only players to win the Masters and the British Open: Tiger Woods, Nick Faldo, Seve Ballesteros, Jack Nicklaus and Sam Snead.
Johnson is again playing his best golf. The victory comes one week after he missed a chance at a playoff by a stroke at the John Deere Classic, which was won by Jordan Spieth.
Johnson again challenged Spieth in the final holes Monday with both tied heading to the 17th hole. Spieth’s attempt to win his third straight major and keep his hopes alive for a Grand Slam this year ended when he bogeyed No. 17 to fall a stroke behind.
Johnson and Leishman posted a 6-under for their final round Monday. They trailed by three strokes in a tie for sixth to start the day.
Johnson’s strong finish and ability to prevail in the playoff for the British Open cements his spot among the top golfers to play the game, especially when factoring his four Ryder Cups and three Presidents Cups with his two majors and 12 PGA Tour titles.
“I never really thought I’d win but it’s a dream realized,” Johnson said of winning at St. Andrews. “I’m a little bit in shock. I think at some point, it’ll settle in as to what was done.”
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