By Jay Betsill
All of the talk coming into the Open Championship week at the Old Course at St. Andrews centered around Dallas resident Jordan Spieth and his quest to win his third major championship of the season. Spieth ended up seeing his Grand Slam journey denied by 2007 Masters champion and two-time Colonial winner Zach Johnson.
“Dreams have been realized, goals accomplished,” Johnson said after his playoff victory. “I’m grateful and humbled. Honored. That jug means so much in sports.”
On a Monday finish that was missing top-ranked Rory McIlroy due to his ankle injury and without Tiger Woods, who missed yet another cut, the action was relentless as Spieth fought back from a double-bogey on No. 8 to a tie for the lead with two holes remaining. A costly bogey on No. 17 left Spieth one shot out of the three-man playoff between Johnson, Louis Oosthuizen and Mark Leishman. With a 1-under score in the aggregate playoff, Johnson became the 144th Open champion.
“If I stood on the 17 tee box and you told me I had that putt for par on the hole,” Spieth said, “I would have certainly taken it. I wouldn’t say that very often on a par-4. That was as hard a par-4 as I think we’ve played all year.”
The next stop on the PGA Tour is the RBC Canadian Open. Big names in the field at Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, Ontario include Jason Day, Bubba Watson, Jim Furyk, Luke Donald, Matt Kuchar, Brooks Koepka, J.B. Holmes and Hunter Mahan.