Amid great excitement and almost unbearable tension on the Old Course, The 144th Open featured one of the event's best-ever finishes in which American Zach Johnson eventually triumphed in a four-hole play-off against 2010 Champion Golfer Louis Oosthuizen and Australia’s Marc Leishman.
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 Open proper.
Drama aplenty unfolded as the world’s best players took on the game’s greatest challenge of playing for the Claret Jug and 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 closing the Old Course and gales on Saturday stopping play, 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 – only the second Monday finish in the history of The Open.
That saw Zach Johnson and Leishman make 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 to become the sixth former Masters champion to win at St Andrews – joining Jack Nicklaus, Sam Snead, Seve Ballesteros, Nick Faldo and Tiger Woods.
The 39-year-old from Iowa said afterwards: "I'm grateful. I'm humbled and I'm honoured. This is the birthplace of the game and that jug means so much in sports."