144th Open - St Andrews 2015
Zach Johnson triumphs on the Old Course
Amid great excitement and almost unbearable tension on the Old Course, The 144th Open featured one of the Championship’s best-ever finishes in which American Zach Johnson eventually triumphed in a four hole play-off against 2010 Champion Louis Oosthuizen and Australia’s Marc Leishman.
“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. It’s a dream realised. I am a little bit in shock.”
The Open at St Andrews is always a special occasion and the 2015 edition started on the perfect note with Peter Thomson and Arnold Palmer starring in the Champion Golfers’ Challenge prior to the Championship proper.
Drama aplenty unfolded as the world’s best players took on the game’s greatest challenge of playing for the Claret Jug. Dustin Johnson powered into the lead with a 65 on the first day.
The second round was notable for dramatic weather, with flooding on Friday and gales on Saturday, but also saw the memorable farewells of Sir Nick Faldo, donning the sweater from his 1987 victory, and five-time Champion Tom Watson, for whom thousands lined the final fairway as darkness descended.
Ireland’s Paul Dunne highlighted the strong amateur challenge by sharing the 54-hole lead before Monday’s absorbing finale in which Johnson and Leishman made superb charges before Oosthuizen also joined a play-off that Jordan Spieth - the Masters and US Open Champion in hot pursuit of a Grand Slam - and Jason Day only just missed.
Johnson birdied the first two extra holes and finished one ahead of Oosthuizen. The 39-yearold from Iowa became the sixth former Masters Champion to win at St Andrews before admitting he was “honoured and humbled” to lift the Claret Jug at the “most fun tournament I play.”
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