The Open: Zach Johnson interrupts History

More than eight years after he won The Masters, his first golfing major, American Zach Johnson won his second—The Open at St. Andrews. The tournament lasted for five days, and finished on a Monday night. The joint lead was held by at least eight players in the final round, with fourteen players separated by three shots; 21-year old sensation Spieth consistently hovering behind the leaders. Finally, the 18th hole required three golfers to make a birdie to force a 5-way playoff after Johnson and Aussie Marc Leishman entered the clubhouse at 15-under for the tournament. 

One of those three was Jordan Spieth, the golfer with a shot at his third major in a row after winning The Masters and The US Open earlier this year. Another was 2010 Champion, South African Louis Oosthuizen, and the third was Aussie Jason Day. Only one of them made the birdie, and it wasn’t Spieth. Oosthuizen, who held the joint lead going into the final day, calmly putted in his birdie and went into a 3-way playoff 4-hole playoff (1, 2, 17, 18) for which he was the favourite. But after birdying the first hole along with Johnson, one that saw Leishman fall away with a bogey, he fell behind on the second with par, bogeyed the road hole along with both the other players, and could do nothing but watch as his final desperate birdie attempt—one that would have put him into sudden death with Johnson—slid past the hole. Johnson, who was standing inches away, and who appeared to be reciting every prayer he possibly knew, couldn’t believe it. 

18 years Spieth’s senior, Zach Johnson won his second major, and it was only appropriate that Spieth rushed to congratulate and embrace the journeyman after an exceptionally long weekend. Leishman, after barely making the cut, shot a record third and fourth round to be in contention right to the end, but it was Johnson who interrupted history. This could perhaps be his final dance with immortality. Spieth, who captivated imaginations with a sensational third round, will look ahead to battle in the year’s final major—one that will hopefully have No. 1 Rory Mcllroy making his way back after injury. 
 
Golf is in good young hands, none that would begrudge 38-year old Johnson his dance with destiny. 
 

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