Johnson wins British Open title

ST ANDREWS, Scotland – American Zach Johnson has claimed the second major of his career after winning the British Open at St Andrews in a four-hole playoff over Australian Marc Leishman and South African Louis Oosthuizen.

While Johnson will be drinking from the Claret Jug, it was a heart-wrenching day for Australia. Johnson negotiated the four-hole playoff at the Old Course over holes one, two, 17 and 18 in one under to beat Oosthuizen by a stroke and Leishman by three.

Leishman, who had blitzed the Old Course in 64-66 over the final two rounds was dealt a cruel blow when his opening shot in the playoff rested in a divot.

It meant his approach went to the back of the green and when the other two made birdies and his five-foot par attempt lipped out he was already two back and effectively gone. Johnson birdied the second hole to extend an advantage and when all three bogeyed the 17th the American took a one-shot advantage to the last. He had a chance from 20-feet to seal the win but missed before Oosthuizen, the 2010 champion at St Andrews, lipped out a 10-foot effort to extend the playoff.

The trio had earlier finished at 15-under-par 273s in an excitement filled final round.

Oosthuizen (69) and Johnson (66) birdied the final hole to get their place while Leishman had a 20-foot chance to ultimately win outright but missed on the left.

Jason Day fell one shot short, settling for a final-round 70 to be at 14 under, tied with Jordan Spieth (69), whose grand slam tilt slipped away with a bogey on the 17th hole. Both could have found a way into the playoff with birdies on the last but failed in their bids. Spieth dumped his wedge approach into the Valley of Sin while Day left a 25-foot downhill putt short and was shattered.

“I’ve been working very hard to try and accomplish my first major, and you know, it’s a little frustrating with how it finished,” Day, who now has nine top 10s in 20 majors without a win, said.

“But I’ve been in contention at major championships a lot now, and it just shows I’m doing the right things, and I can’t look at it as a negative.

“I’m just a little frustrated. Give it time so I can just sit down and look at what the positives were and move on from there and just try and get better.”

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