ST ANDREWS (CNN) — After throwing up only the second Monday finish in its 144-year history, perhaps it was inevitable the Open Championship would make us wait that little bit longer to uncloak its winner.
When it did, Zach Johnson emerged clutching the Claret Jug after a three-way playoff to end one of its most dramatic incarnations in recent memory.
The 39-year-old from Iowa can now rest one of golf’s most treasured possessions next to another — the green jacket from his 2007 Masters triumph. It is becoming quite a collection.
Johnson shot one of the best rounds of the day to clinch a spot in a four-hole shootout alongside the 2010 Open champion Louis Oosthuizen, from South Africa, and Australia’s Marc Leishman.
His tally of one-under par proved enough to edge out his two playing partners and reduce a veteran of the PGA Tour to tears.
Asked how it felt to be 2015 Open champion he told host broadcaster the BBC: “It sounds beautiful. It feels almost surreal.”
“I feel blessed to be champion and honored to be part of this history. To be with some of the names on that trophy — humbling and surreal are two words than spring to mind.”
“It was a week of perseverance and courage and bravery. I can’t play any better than I did. I stayed in it and waited for the opportunities and fortunately I made a few.”