Zach Johnson is now claiming the title most toughest golfer in ‘2015 Open’ after he win the last 4th round of said tournament in British open 2015.
Zach Johnson rips up the scripts to become enduring star on Open 2015 stage, As Zach Johnson collected the Claret Jug and the second major of his understated career it may have seemed churlish to contemplate what might have been. That sense, though, was unavoidable.
The 144th Open Championship could have yielded the third major of 2015 four Jordan Spieth. There was the potential for an emotional tale involving Marc Lehman, who missed the Masters in April as his wife battled for her life having been given a 5% chance of surviving toxic shock syndrome. Louis Oosthuizen was aiming to join exalted company by winning a second Open at the home of golf.
Instead, a curious thing happened; evidence of Spieth’s fallibility appeared. Johnson coolly prevailed in a four-hole play-off with Leishman and Oosthuizen. The trio had earned their berths with 15-under-par aggregates. Johnson’s margin of victory over Oosthuizen afterwards was one. Leishman wilted intensity of direct combat, faring three shots worse than the victor. Spieth stood at the 18th green to watch the last exchanges. Johnson shed tears of joy.
“Dreams has realized and goals accomplished,” said the champion as he held the Claret Jug. “It takes me back to when I turned professional. You could even go back further than that when I was playing as a youngster. These are the things you dream about. These are the things you’ve worked to get to.
“I’m humbled now because of what’s in my lap and the names that etched on this piece of metal. That is very special. It’s the who’s who in the game.”
Maybe the 39-year-old pulled on inspiration from the skies. In 2007 he was victorious in one of the coldest, bleakest Masters in history. The winning score then was one over. Skip forward eight years and the grim realities of a Scottish summer formed the backdrop.
Regardless of conditions Augusta National and St Andrews are not bad venues at which to have written your name in golfing folklore. Johnson bookended his Open with rounds of 66, with a 71 and a 70 coming in between.
A tournament beset by delays was to offer an enduring climax. Johnson was the first to make a move, reaching 16 under at the 12th. He handed a shot back at the following hole and dropped another at the 17th. On his last hole of regulation play Johnson got down from 30 ft. to set the clubhouse target. Even with so many of the world’s best players having time on their side that putt instantly looked significant.
Jordan Spieth, Paul Dunne and others discuss their performance in the last round of the 2015 Open
Leishman had led on his own at 16 under before dropping his first shot in 35 holes at the 16th. His prominence in itself was staggering; from making the cut only by a stroke he rattled out rounds of 64 and 66.
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Spieth’s ferocious competitive spirit was never in any reasonable doubt but how it endorsed. After scoring a double-bogey at the 8th, he fell back to 12 under. An irretrievable scenario? Far from it. Spieth would have made the play-off with a birdie on the last hole. Instead, and agonizingly for this brilliant young Texan, he watched an approach shot spin back into the Valley of Sin.
For Spieth to be in this position at all, having produced a four-putt and six three-putts, was somewhat remarkable. Just like Arnold Palmer 55 years earlier his quest to win three from three fell short at St Andrews.
On the 72nd green Jason Day left a 20ft putt short which would have placed him in the play-off. Oosthuizen converted his from close range. Leishman had missed to the left when seeking to place daylight between himself and the field.
“It’s never nice to lose a play-off,” said Oosthuizen, the 2010 champion. “I’ve had the experience in 2012 at Augusta. You feel like you’ve got a really good chance of winning. But I’ll take a lot out of this week. I love this place, I’ve said it a thousand times. I can’t wait for it to come back here again.”
Day has cause to be rueful. On Saturday morning he was among the group who took to the course for all of 32 windswept minutes. Day dropped two crucial shots over that period and he has created unwanted history. He is the only player since the second world war to lead the US Open and the Open in the same year without winning either. His time, surely, will come.
Challenges had arisen and faded. The most startling tumble was that of Adam Scott, who has previous for capitulations over the closing stretches of Opens. He played the last five holes in the same number over par from the position where he was a contender at 15 under.
Sergio García was 14 under by the time he stepped on to the 10th tee but finished three shots worse off. The Spaniard has finished inside the Open’s top 10 nine times in his past 15 appearances but major success continues to elude him.
From a starting position of 11 under Padraig Harrington birdied the 1st and 2nd. Three sixes on his card were to ruin the dream. He closed with a 75 and in a share of 20th. Nerves got the better of Harrington’s fellow Irishman, the amateur Paul Dunne, who signed for a 78 that he will put down to experience.
A championship that felt like it may never end proceeded into extra time. Johnson will not care a jot about the fairytales he destroyed on the march to victory.