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The Open 2015 - Round 4 Reports - Scores

Zach Johnson claims Claret Jug in a playoff

Jordan Spieth's spirited bid for a Grand Slam was stopped Monday by Zach Johnson, who is no longer just a normal guy from Iowa.

Not with a claret jug to go with that green jacket.

Johnson captured his second major - this one at the home of golf - winning the British Open in a playoff over Louis Oosthuizen and Marc Leishman that capped off five wild days at St. Andrews and a suspense-filled final round.

Most eyes were on 21-year-old Spieth. No one ever came closer to the third leg of the Grand Slam.

Spieth fought back from taking four putts for a double bogey on No. 8 with back-to-back birdies. He rolled in a 50-foot birdie putt for a share of the lead with two holes to play. After missing an 8-foot par putt on the 17th hole, he needed a birdie on the closing hole to join the playoff.

''Up and down for a playoff,'' was the last thing Spieth said to caddie Michael Greller from about 90 yards away. It was too far right and rolled to the edge of the Valley of Sin short of the green, and his birdie attempt up the slope stayed inches left of the cup.

''We gave it a great effort,'' Spieth said.

He joined Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods - the three biggest names in golf over the last half-century - as the only players to capture the Masters and U.S. Open, only to come up short in a quest for the holy grail in golf - all four professional majors in the same year.

Johnson won the Masters in 2007 and described himself as just a normal guy from Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Not anymore.

The 39-year-old Johnson now has two majors among his 12 PGA Tour victories, an astounding record and an example that a good wedge game and putter can still go a long way in this era of the long ball. Johnson was in tears when he was interviewed off the green, and he cradled the jug after his acceptance speech.

''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.''

On a tense afternoon of shadows and showers on the Old Course, Johnson closed with a 6-under 66 by holing a 30-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole in regulation, and caddie Damon Green strutted and flapped his arms in his celebratory chicken dance.

Johnson was the first to post at 15-under 273 with his 30-foot birdie putt.

Leishman, who considered giving up golf in April when his wife nearly died of a rare respiratory illness, made one bad swing in the closing holes that cost him a bogey on the 16th hole to fall into a share of the lead with Johnson. He had a birdie putt for the win that stayed wide left.

After Spieth had to settle for par and a 69 to tie for fourth, Oosthuizen made a 10-foot par putt on the Road Hole at No. 17 to stay one shot behind, and he delivered a clutch moment of his own with a wedge to 5 feet for birdie and a 69 to join the playoff.

It was the first British Open playoff since Stewart Cink beat Tom Watson at Turnberry in 2009, and the first involving more than two players since 2002 at Muirfield, the year Woods failed in his bid for the third leg of the slam.

Spieth showed guts over the final two hours, and class when his bid was over. He walked off the 18th green applauding the fans and giving them a thumbs-up, stayed to watch the closing hole in the playoff and came back onto the course to hug Johnson.

Just two weeks ago, he went to Iowa to take part in a charity event for Johnson before playing - and winning - the John Deere Classic in a playoff for his fourth win of the year. He was questioned for not coming over to St. Andrews to prepare for a rare occasions of attempting the Grand Slam, though Spieth put that notion to rest with a performance that kept him around the lead all week.

It was the first British Open to end on Monday since 1988 because of a brief rain delay Friday morning and 10 1/2-hour wind delay on Saturday. But what a show. With 14 players separated by three shots - half of them major champions - no one seized control the entire day.

Eight players had at least a share of the lead at one point. Most of them fell away.

Padraig Harrington drove into a gorse bush on No. 6 and made double bogey. Adam Scott was tied for the lead until he found a pot bunker behind the 14th green for bogey, missed an 18-inch par putt on the next hole and hit onto the road and out-of-bounds on the 18th. He played last the five holes in 5-over par.

Sergio Garcia couldn't keep up with his putter. Paul Dunne, the 21-year-old Irishman bidding to become the first amateur since Bobby Jones in 1930 to win the claret jug, started bogey-bogey and closed with a 78.

Oosthuizen was a runner-up for the second straight major. He was one shot behind Spieth in the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay.

Spieth now goes to the PGA Championship with a tiny piece of history left to chase. No one has ever swept the three American majors in the same year. And he can only hope he gets this chance again. Palmer, Nicklaus and Woods never again won the Masters and U.S. Open in the same year.

Jordan Spieth so close to triple crown

When American Jordan Spieth sent his ball across the 16th green at St Andrews on Monday and seconds later watched it vanish into the hole 40 feet away it seemed the golfing Gods were smiling on him.

As the challengers for the 144th British Open faltered one by one the history-seeking Texan moved level with leaders Zach Johnson and Marc Leishman and he could almost smell the polish on the old Claret Jug.

However, even this remarkably talented 21-year-old, with strokes of genius and tungsten nerves, proved human after all as the infamous Road Hole claimed another victim.

Spieth played three superb shots to give himself a regulation six-foot putt for the par that would have sent him down the far more accommodating 18th needing a birdie to become the first man since Ben Hogan in 1953 to land the year's first three majors.

But the nerveless putting that propelled him to the Masters and the U.S. Open this year, failed him as the ball rolled wide.

All was not lost as a birdie at the last would have at least earned him a playoff -- and you imagine he would have won it, such is the aura he has acquired in his short career.

However, he sent his tee shot wide left and his though his approach initially seemed to have salvaged his chances, the ball spun wickedly backwards into the Valley of Sin.

His birdie attempt, up the slope, was bold and true, but the ball refused to drop and as groans filled the dank air. Spieth puffed out his cheeks and trudged off looking disconsolate.

He is in good company though.

Of the five players to win the year's first two majors, only Hogan then triumphed at the British Open, at Carnoustie in 1953.

Fellow Americans Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Tiger Woods all fell at the third hurdle when trying to attempt the Holy Grail of the calendar slam -- Woods failing in 2002.

"I just wish I'd given myself a little better opportunity," Spieth, who would have become the youngest ever world number one had he won, said.

Just as he demonstrated at the ninth, though, when he made birdie after a calamitous three-putt double bogey on the eighth that would have pole-axed many more grizzled players, Spieth does not stay down for long.

"I don't know how many guys have done three majors in a year," he said. "I'm sure there's only been a few, I know Tiger has done it. So that would be the next goal as far as the history goes. Sights set on the PGA Championship."

Woods won his three in 2000 -- including the British Open at St Andrews -- and the only other man to secure a hat-trick was Ben Hogan in 1953.

While Spieth was disappointed with the missed putt on the 17th -- "I didn't hit it very solid" he said -- it was the par-three eighth hole, tucked away alongside the River Eden, where his shot at history ebbed away.

His tee shot into wind and driving rain fell short. "Oh Jordan, C'mon man!!" he scolded.

But worse followed as he took four putts from the front of the green to get down.

"When you look up from the ball and you're getting pelted in the face, it's a hard shot," he said. "I just tried to sling one in there and I left it 40 yards from the pin. It's just a no-brainer. If you make bogey, you're still in it. If you make double bogey, it's a very difficult climb."

He did climb back though, with a birdie at the 10th and then five solid pars before his wonder putt at the 16th seemed to light the touchpaper for something special.

Instead stood by the 18th and watched Zach Johnson win a playoff. "That's a hell of a major," Spieth said.

It was not just Johnson fans celebrating either as Spieth's failure saved bookmakers millions. "Spieth would have been a shocker so anyone else was a result," said Rupert Adams, spokesman for William Hill, who already make the 21-year-old 5-1 for the US PGA.

"That said, we fully expect Jordan Spieth to be the scourge of bookmakers for many years to come."

Louis Oosthuizen close to unwanted slam

Louis Oosthuizen is closing in on a career Grand Slam of sorts.

One he'd rather not have.

For the third time in his career - and second time in a month - the South African was runner-up in a major championship. This time, it was the British Open, where he lost to Zach Johnson in a playoff Monday evening.

Marc Leishman, an Australia with only one PGA Tour win, also got in the four-hole playoff. A bogey at No. 1 essentially ended his chances.

Oosthuizen took it right to the end, misreading putts on the final two holes - one from 5 feet on the 17th hole, the other from 12 feet at the 18th - that could have forced sudden death with Johnson.

''It's never nice to lose a playoff,'' Oosthuizen moaned. ''He left the door open on 17 (where Johnson made a bogey), and I didn't take advantage of it.''

Oosthuizen lost a playoff at the Masters three years ago, when Bubba Watson pulled off a ridiculous hook from the pine straw on the second extra hole.

Almost a month ago to the day, Oosthuizen was beaten in regulation by Jordan Spieth at the U.S. Open, a tournament best remembered for Dustin Johnson's three-putt on the 72nd hole when he had a chance to win.

That sent Spieth to the home of golf with two straight major titles and the Grand Slam still in play.

The young Texan missed out on the playoff by a single stroke, ending his bid to become the first player to sweep all four majors in a year.

Instead, it's Oosthuizen who heads to Whistling Straits next month with his own little bit of history on the line - the PGA Championship is the only major in which he has not finished second.

''I'll take a lot out of this week,'' he insisted, looking for a bright side. ''It's not first, but I'll take it.''

At least Oosthuizen has a major title. He won the British Open in 2010, the last time it was held at St. Andrews.

He's shown more than enough game to win another.

At Chambers Bay, Oosthuizen rallied brilliantly from an opening 77, posting three straight rounds in the 60s but coming up short again, one stroke behind. In his return to St. Andrews, he was right there again for the claret jug.

Just a little short again.

On a leaderboard dominated by Spieth and a bunch of major winners, Leishman was the definite outsider. He had the tournament in his grasp, going to the 16th hole with a one-stroke lead only to miss a 4-foot putt, ending a streak of 34 straight holes without a bogey going back to the second round.

Leishman managed to par the last two holes for a 6-under 66 and a spot the playoff, but another short putt lipped out on No. 1, a hole that Johnson and Oosthuizen birdied for a two-shot swing. The Aussie was essentially out of it after that, his hopes completely dashed with another bogey at No. 17 - the third extra hole.

''I was definitely happy with the way I played and gave it my best shot,'' said Leishman, who also turned in the best round of the week, a third-round 64. ''Zach just played really well in the playoff, and I didn't have my best stuff.''

Leishman won't fret over the loss for long, not after what he went through earlier this year. His wife, Audrey, was stricken with a life-threatening illness, forcing him to drop out of the Masters. She's better now, and her husband has a new perspective.

''Yeah, mate, I'm happy,'' he said. ''I can go home tomorrow and hug Audrey and (their two young) boys and celebrate a little bit. It would have been nice to have the claret jug to drink out of to celebrate, but I'll find something else.''

Jordan Niebrugge wins silver medal

Jordan Niebrugge had an outside shot at the silver claret jug. He was more than happy to leave St. Andrews with a silver medal.

At a British Open where amateurs held their own on the biggest stage in golf, Niebrugge pulled within three shots of the lead on the back nine until he could no longer keep up. He closed with a 2-under 70 to tie for sixth, four shots behind the playoff won by Zach Johnson.

Not only was he low amateur, he became the first amateur since Chris Woods at Royal Birkdale in 2008 to finish in the top 10. Along with getting the silver medal, the top 10 means he gets to return to the Open next year at Royal Troon.

''The top accomplishment I've had so far,'' said Niebrugge, a senior-to-be at Oklahoma State. ''Just the silver medal in a major championship, especially at St. Andrews. It's definitely a dream come true.''

Paul Dunne of Ireland, the first amateur in 88 years to be a leader going into the final round of the Open, wasn't so fortunate. He was gobbled up by nerves on the first two holes, hitting short of the Swilcan burn on his approach, and hitting his tee shot on the second hole so far right that it wound up on the putting green by the practice range.

Dunne started bogey-bogey and closed with a 78.

Oliver Schniederjans of Georgia Tech, in his final tournament as an amateur, got within two shots of the lead about two hours before the leaders started the final round. He shot a 67 and tied for 12th. Schniederjans is turning pro and will play the Canadian Open later this week.

Niebrugge still has another year left as an amateur because he wants to finish his degree at Oklahoma State. His performance this week should make him a shoo-in to return to links golf in September when the Walker Cup is played at Royal Lytham & St. Annes.

''Just try and do everything I can to play my way onto the team,'' Niebrugge said. ''I've got a couple more events this summer left, and we'll see how it goes.''

On this day, he was doing everything he could to compete for a major championship.

Playing alongside Sergio Garcia, he kept pace with the Spaniard with three birdies through six holes, and when Niebrugge made birdie on the par-5 14th, he was at 13 under par. But he dropped a shot on the 15th, and missed an 8-foot par putt on the tough 17th.

''I knew the guys behind me were getting it going,'' he said. ''I knew Zach Johnson played really well out in front of me, so I knew I had to get a couple more birdies, but those last four holes or so were playing really tough. I just needed to get fairways and greens and just give myself opportunities.''

Paul Dunne the toast of Ireland

While the world of sport was asking 'Paul, who?', nobody in Greystones Golf Club was the least surprised by Paul Dunne's audacious bid to become the first British Open amateur winner since 1930.

As members swapped the office for the club bar on Monday, it was standing room only in the County Wicklow clubhouse to watch the Irish youngster, who began wowing locals as a 10-year-old, take the lead into the final round at St. Andrews.

"If you had asked any of the members here last Wednesday if they'd be surprised if Paul finished in the top 10, I'd say the majority of people would have said 'no'," said David Fry, who looks after the club's under-15 team, all of whom are now aiming to become the next Paul Dunne.

"We all know the talent is there, it was just a case of when it was going to come through. I would be shocked if he doesn't become a star and hopefully a southern (Irish) Rory McIlroy."

In the club foyer, a photograph of a teenage Dunne alongside a list of achievements underlined that potential, with barely enough room to cram in his collection of regional, national and European honors.

Upstairs locals roared as Dunne fought back with two birdies in three holes after dropping shots on his first two as a microphone gaffer taped to the television piped commentary around the packed clubhouse. Many others had decided as late as Sunday night to hop on a ferry to cheer on in Scotland.

"After I watched him in practice, I told everyone in the club to put money on him making the cut because he was just hitting the ball so well," club professional Karl Holmes told national broadcaster RTE from St. Andrews, as the 22-year-old's progress dominated TV, radio and newspaper front pages.

"He was always an exceptional sportsman, he excelled at tennis, soccer, Gaelic (soccer). He was of those annoying kids who is just really good at everything. His life is obviously going to change dramatically after today."

His dream of becoming the first amateur to win the title since 1930 quickly evaporated on poor back nine that left him six-over par for the day and six-under for the tournament

But, having watched their man show remarkable composure to shoot three sub-70 rounds before Monday's disappointing 78, the U.S. university graduate was given a standing ovation in his home clubhouse as he tapped his final putt.

"Unbelievable, it's been the fulfillment of what he's done for years and years," said 68-year-old Nigel Robinson, helping overrun bar staff collect empty pint glasses.

"He is the nicest young gentleman that you could ever come across. No matter where he finished, he did us all proud."


Zach Johnson -15 (66-71-70-66=273) -6(66) F
Louis Oosthuizen -15 (67-70-67-69=273) -3(69) F
Marc Leishman -15 (70-73-64-66=273) -6(66) F
Jason Day -14 (66-71-67-70=274) -2(70) F
Jordan Spieth -14 (67-72-66-69=274) -3(69) F
Sergio Garcia -11 (70-69-68-70=277) -2(70) F
Justin Rose -11 (71-68-68-70=277) -2(70) F
Danny Willett -11 (66-69-72-70=277) -2(70) F
Jordan Niebrugge (a) -11 (67-73-67-70=277) -2(70) F
Adam Scott -10 (70-67-70-71=278) -1(71) F
Brooks Koepka -10 (71-70-69-68=278) -4(68) F
Luke Donald -9 (68-70-73-68=279) -4(68) F
Anthony Wall -9 (70-71-68-70=279) -2(70) F
Martin Kaymer -9 (71-70-70-68=279) -4(68) F
Brendon Todd -9 (71-73-69-66=279) -6(66) F
Ollie Schniederjans (a) -9 (70-72-70-67=279) -5(67) F
Ashley Chesters (a) -9 (71-72-67-69=279) -3(69) F
Robert Streb -8 (66-71-70-73=280) +1(73) F
Hideki Matsuyama -8 (72-66-71-71=280) -1(71) F
Stewart Cink -7 (70-71-68-72=281) E(72) F
Retief Goosen -7 (66-72-69-74=281) +2(74) F
Phil Mickelson -7 (70-72-70-69=281) -3(69) F
Padraig Harrington -7 (72-69-65-75=281) +3(75) F
Greg Owen -7 (68-73-71-69=281) -3(69) F
Marcus Fraser -7 (74-69-68-70=281) -2(70) F
James Morrison -7 (71-71-70-69=281) -3(69) F
Branden Grace -7 (69-72-73-67=281) -5(67) F
Russell Henley -7 (74-66-72-69=281) -3(69) F
Patrick Reed -7 (72-70-67-72=281) E(72) F
Jim Furyk -6 (73-71-66-72=282) E(72) F
Steven Bowditch -6 (70-69-69-74=282) +2(74) F
Jimmy Walker -6 (72-68-71-71=282) -1(71) F
Ryan Palmer -6 (71-71-67-73=282) +1(73) F
Matt Jones -6 (68-73-69-72=282) E(72) F
Billy Horschel -6 (73-71-71-67=282) -5(67) F
Rickie Fowler -6 (72-71-66-73=282) +1(73) F
Anirban Lahiri -6 (69-70-71-72=282) E(72) F
Andy Sullivan -6 (72-71-68-71=282) -1(71) F
Paul Dunne (a) -6 (69-69-66-68=272) -4(68) F
Geoff Ogilvy -5 (71-68-72-72=283) E(72) F
John Senden -5 (72-72-68-71=283) -1(71) F
Paul Lawrie -5 (66-70-74-73=283) +1(73) F
Henrik Stenson -5 (73-70-71-69=283) -3(69) F
Webb Simpson -5 (70-70-71-72=283) E(72) F
Francesco Molinari -5 (72-71-73-67=283) -5(67) F
Marc Warren -5 (68-69-72-74=283) +2(74) F
Rafael Cabrera-Bello -5 (71-73-68-71=283) -1(71) F
Scott Arnold -5 (71-73-73-66=283) -6(66) F
David Duval -4 (72-72-67-73=284) +1(73) F
Jamie Donaldson -4 (72-71-71-70=284) -2(70) F
David Howell -4 (68-73-73-70=284) -2(70) F
Lee Westwood -4 (71-73-69-71=284) -1(71) F
Graeme McDowell -4 (72-72-70-70=284) -2(70) F
Hunter Mahan -4 (72-72-67-73=284) +1(73) F
Ryan Fox -4 (72-69-76-67=284) -5(67) F
Dustin Johnson -4 (65-69-75-75=284) +3(75) F
Eddie Pepperell -4 (72-70-66-76=284) +4(76) F
Greg Chalmers -3 (70-71-69-75=285) +3(75) F
Matt Kuchar -3 (71-73-70-71=285) -1(71) F
Jason Dufner -3 (73-71-67-74=285) +2(74) F
Kevin Na -3 (67-75-70-73=285) +1(73) F
Gary Woodland -3 (72-70-71-72=285) E(72) F
Cameron Tringale -3 (71-71-73-70=285) -2(70) F
David Lipsky -3 (73-69-70-73=285) +1(73) F
Ernie Els -2 (71-73-69-73=286) +1(73) F
Thongchai Jaidee -2 (72-71-70-73=286) +1(73) F
Romain Langasque (a) -2 (69-72-71-74=286) +2(74) F
Charl Schwartzel -1 (67-72-69-79=287) +7(79) F
Graham DeLaet -1 (71-73-68-75=287) +3(75) F
Ross Fisher -1 (71-73-72-71=287) -1(71) F
Bernd Wiesberger -1 (72-72-71-72=287) E(72) F
Richie Ramsay -1 (72-71-70-74=287) +2(74) F
Harris English -1 (71-72-69-75=287) +3(75) F
Paul Casey E (70-71-75-72=288) E(72) F
Brett Rumford E (71-71-71-75=288) +3(75) F
Ben Martin E (74-70-67-77=288) +5(77) F
David Lingmerth E (69-72-70-77=288) +5(77) F
Bernhard Langer +1 (74-70-73-72=289) E(72) F
Mark O'Meara +1 (72-72-71-74=289) +2(74) F
Thomas Aiken +2 (75-69-72-74=290) +2(74) F

----- CUT ---

John Daly 71 74 145 1
Victor Dubuisson 74 71 145 1
Tommy Fleetwood 69 76 145 1
Brian Harman 73 72 145 1
Mikko Ilonen 75 70 145 1
Rikard Karlberg 70 75 145 1
Kevin Kisner 71 74 145 1
Pablo Larrazabal 76 69 145 1
Alexander Levy 70 75 145 1
Shane Lowry 73 72 145 1
Carl Pettersson 72 73 145 1
Marcel Siem 70 75 145 1
Byeong-hun An 74 72 146 2
Jonas Blixt 75 71 146 2
Darren Clarke 73 73 146 2
Pelle Edberg 72 74 146 2
Hiroyuki Fujita 71 75 146 2
Stephen Gallacher 73 73 146 2
Tyrrell Hatton 70 76 146 2
Scott Hend 74 72 146 2
Raphael Jacquelin 76 70 146 2
Paul Kinnear 70 76 146 2
Russell Knox 72 74 146 2
Joost Luiten 74 72 146 2
Matteo Manassero 73 73 146 2
Brandt Snedeker 73 73 146 2
Keegan Bradley 75 72 147 3
George Coetzee 74 73 147 3
David Hearn 74 73 147 3
JB Holmes 73 74 147 3
Danny Lee 73 74 147 3
Sandy Lyle 71 76 147 3
Ryan Moore 74 73 147 3
Ian Poulter 73 74 147 3
Tadahiro Takayama 75 72 147 3
Shinji Tomimura 73 74 147 3
Bubba Watson 71 76 147 3
Kiradech Aphibarnrat 73 75 148 4
James Hahn 75 73 148 4
Yuta Ikeda 74 74 148 4
Miguel Angel Jimenez 75 73 148 4
Soren Kjeldsen 75 73 148 4
Tom Lehman 75 73 148 4
Jaco Van Zyl 79 69 148 4
Romain Wattel 75 73 148 4
Mark Young 74 74 148 4
Daniel Berger 73 76 149 5
Thomas Bjorn 70 79 149 5
Adam Bland 75 74 149 5
Daniel Brooks 76 73 149 5
Ben Curtis 74 75 149 5
Bill Haas 75 74 149 5
Morgan Hoffmann 73 76 149 5
Hiroshi Iwata 79 70 149 5
Edoardo Molinari 74 75 149 5
Koumei Oda 73 76 149 5
Taichi Teshima 76 73 149 5
Alister Balcombe 74 76 150 6
Robert Dinwiddie 73 77 150 6
Tom Gillis 76 74 150 6
Charley Hoffman 72 78 150 6
Justin Leonard 78 72 150 6
WC Liang 80 70 150 6
Scott Strange 77 73 150 6
Kevin Streelman 78 72 150 6
Gunn Yang 73 77 150 6
Matthew Every 73 78 151 7
Todd Hamilton 74 77 151 7
Tiger Woods 76 75 151 7
Jonathan Moore 74 78 152 8
Rod Pampling 77 75 152 8
Nick Faldo 83 71 154 10
Mark Calcavecchia 80 75 155 11
Ben Taylor 82 73 155 11
Tom Watson 76 80 156 12
Gary Boyd 77 80 157 13

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