Z. Johnson wins British Open in 3-way playoff

More British Open: Leaderboard | Final Round Recap | Jordan Spieth falls short

Augusta National and the Old Course at St. Andrews: If there are two more famous courses in the world, I do not know them. The list of golfers who have won major championships at both just got a little bit longer on Monday as Zach Johnson defeated Marc Leishman and Louis Oosthuizen in a four-hole playoff at the 2015 British Open.

Johnson’s aggregate score was 1 under. He beat Oosthuizen by one and Leishman by three. His 66 on Monday was the lowest final round of his career and the lowest final round for a British Open champion at St. Andrews.

But first things first. Johnson had to make birdie on the final hole to even get into the playoff. It was a monstrous putt that elicited a tremendous reaction from both Johnson and his caddie Damon Green.

Here’s the putt:

And here’s the dance:

Johnson joins Tiger Woods, Nick Faldo, Seve Ballesteros, Jack Nicklaus and Sam Snead as the only six golfers to win at both the Old Course and Augusta. He’s only the 14th ever to win the Masters and The Open Championship. Those are impressive lists to be on. They’re just not lists on which Johnson ever thought he’d find his name.

When asked earlier this year about his chances at various tournaments, Johnson gave an interesting response.

“I don’t even know where the Open is,” said Johnson before being told it was at St. Andrews. “That’s my least favorite in the rotation. I say that and I love that tournament and I sitll like St. Andrews. That’s how much I love that tournament. I think St. Andrews is terrific and it’s my least favorite.”

Suffice to say, he feels quite differently now.

“I’ve come a long way since 2007 when I kind of launched my golf career,” Johnson said while trying but failing to fight back tears of happiness in a post-round interview with ESPN.

“What this does is really put things in perspective for me, more than it already has. I play golf for a living. I’m grateful for that. It’s a beautiful game, provides a great opportunity. I’m a product of great people. I’m just so happy.”

This wasn’t my least favorite British Open. From Johnson’s ending to the amateur run Jordan Niebrugge went on to Jordan Spieth‘s bid for the Grand Slam, this is one of the most memorable majors in recent memory.

“I’ve come a long way since 2007 when I kind of launched my golf career,” Johnson said while trying but failing to fight back tears in a post-round interview with ESPN. “What this does is really put things in perspective for me, more than it already has. I play golf for a living. I’m grateful for that. It’s a beautiful game, provides a great opportunity. I’m a product of great people. I’m just so happy.”

Zach Johnson, Champion Golfer of the Year. (USATSI)Zach Johnson, Champion Golfer of the Year. (USATSI)

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