ST. ANDREWS, Scotland (AP) — Jordan Spieth’s quest for the Grand Slam is over. He was stopped Monday by Zach Johnson.
Spieth shot a 3-under 69 that left him one stroke out of a likely playoff at the British Open. He won the Masters in April and the U.S. Open last month, giving him a chance to join Ben Hogan as the only golfers to win the first three majors of the year.
No one has ever won all four.
Spieth pulled into a tie for the lead with clubhouse leaders Johnson and Marc Leishman by sinking a 50-foot birdie on the 16th hole. But Spieth missed an 8-footer to save par at the 17th, and came up short of the green with his second shot at the 18th, the ball rolling back into the Valley of Sin.
His birdie putt slid by the left side of the cup, leaving him with a 14-under 274.
Johnson captured his second major at the home of golf, winning in a playoff over Louis Oosthuizen and Marc Leishman that capped off a wild five days at St. Andrews and a finish that won’t soon be forgotten.
“We gave it a great effort,” Spieth said.
Spieth hung around for the playoff, and walked out to the course to give Johnson a hug before the 39-year-old received the silver claret jug.
Johnson rolled in a 30-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole in regulation to close with a 6-under 66. Leishman badly missed his birdie putt that would have won it, while Oosthuizen hit a perfect wedge to 5 feet for birdie and a 69 to join the playoff.
Johnson opened the four-hole playoff with two birdies. When he missed his 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole at No. 18, Oosthuizen had a 12-foot birdie putt to force sudden death. It caught the left edge of the cup, and Johnson was in tears.
He said when he won the 2007 Masters that he was just a normal guy from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Now he has two majors among his 12 PGA Tour victories.
“I’m grateful. I’m humbled. I’m honored,” Johnson said. “This is the birthplace of the game, and that jug means so much in sports. I felt great. I’m just in awe right now.”
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