The Latest: Zach Johnson wins the British Open in a playoff

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Posted: Jul 20, 2015 3:03 PM
The Latest: Zach Johnson wins the British Open in a playoff

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland (AP) — The Latest from the 144th British Open on the Old Course at St. Andrews (all times local):

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7:57 p.m.

Zach Johnson has won his second major title at the British Open, beating Louis Oosthuizen and Marc Leishman in a four-hole playoff at St. Andrews.

Johnson edged Oosthuizen by a stroke when the South African missed a 12-footer birdie putt at the 18th hole. Leishman finished three shots back Monday evening.

Johnson added to the Masters title he won in 2007.

It was Oosthuizen's second straight runner-up finish in a major. He finished one stroke behind Jordan Spieth at last month's U.S. Open.

Spieth missed the playoff by a stroke. His hopes of pursuing a historic Grand Slam at next month's PGA Championship were doomed by a bogey on the 17th hole in regulation, where he missed an 8-foot putt. He had won the Masters and the U.S. Open, giving him a shot at joining Ben Hogan as the only golfers to win the first three majors of the year.

Jason Day also came up one shot shy of the playoff.

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7:45 p.m.

Zach Johnson has a one-stroke lead on Louis Oosthuizen going to the final hole of a playoff in the British Open.

Johnson and Oosthuizen both made bogeys at No. 17 — the ominous Road Hole. Johnson was in much worst shape after their second shots, having to pitch over a treacherous pot bunker, then pitch up again from the other side of the green before making a 3-foot putt. Oosthuizen was just short of the green in two, putted within 5 feet, but watched his par attempt slide by the left side.

Australia's Marc Leishman is three strokes back and essentially out of the mix, having made two bogeys over the first three holes of the playoff.

Johnson and Oosthuizen are both seeking their second major titles.

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7:25 p.m.

Zach Johnson has claimed the lead in the three-man playoff at the British Open.

Johnson rolled in a 20-foot putt at No. 2 for his second straight birdie in the four-hole playoff. That gives him a one-stroke lead over Louis Oosthuizen, who also birdied the first hole but missed a 25-footer at the second.

Marc Leishman is three shots behind, following up a bogey at the first hole with a par at the second.

They now head to No. 17 — the infamous Road Hole.

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7:10 p.m.

Zach Johnson and Louis Oosthuizen have gained an early edge in the British Open playoff.

Johnson and Oosthuizen both made birdies at No. 1 on Monday evening, while Marc Leishman made a three-putt bogey that drops him two shots behind.

The four-hole playoffs also includes the second, 17th and 18th hole. If it's still tied after that, it goes to sudden death.

Johnson rolled in a 12-footer for his birdie. He's trying to win his second major title, having also won the 2007 Masters.

Oosthuizen is also seeking his second major, winning the Open the last time it was played at St. Andrews in 2010. He made a 15-foot birdie at No. 1.

This is the first playoff at the Open since 2009. The tournament is already finishing on a Monday for the first time since 1988 because of rain and high winds.

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6:50 p.m.

The British Open is headed to its first playoff since 2009.

Zach Johnson, Louis Oosthuizen and Marc Leishman are tied after 72 holes at 15-under 273, setting up a four-hole playoff at St. Andrews on Monday evening.

Playing in the final group, Oosthuizen made a brilliant approach to 5 feet. He then rolled in the birdie putt to pull even with Johnson and Leishman, watching from alongside the clubhouse.

Jordan Spieth and Jason Day, playing in the next-to-last group, came to the final hole needing birdies to get in the playoff.

Spieth's approach shot rolled back off the front of the green, and he couldn't sink the putt from the Valley of Sin. That ended his hopes of becoming the first player to win the modern Grand Slam.

Day missed a 20-foot putt to end his hopes.

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6:45 p.m.

Jordan Spieth's quest for the Grand Slam is over.

Spieth shot a 3-under 69 that left him one stroke out of a likely playoff at the British Open on Monday. 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 Zach 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.

Jason Day also ended up one shot behind Johnson and Leishman, missing a 20-foot birdie try at the 18th. Louis Oosthuizen is the only other player with a chance to get in the playoff.

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6:30 p.m.

Jordan Spieth is going to the 72nd hole of the British Open needing a birdie to have a shot at his third straight major title.

Spieth missed an 8-footer to save par Monday evening at the tough 17th hole, known as the Road Hole. He's now one shot behind co-leaders Zach Johnson and Marc Leishman, both in the clubhouse at 15-under 273.

Spieth is trying to join Ben Hogan as the only golfers to win the first three majors of the year. If he can pull it off, he'll go to next month's PGA Championship with a shot at becoming the first player to win the modern Grand Slam.

Jason Day and Louis Oosthuizen are also in the mix, one shot off the lead.

Day is playing with Spieth in the next-to-last group, while Oosthuizen is in the final pairing.

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6:15 p.m.

Jordan Spieth has rolled in a 50-foot putt to create a three-way tie for the lead at the British Open.

Spieth rolled in the long putt at the 16th hole Monday, pushing his score to 15 under. Zach Johnson and Marc Leishman are already in the clubhouse at 15-under 273.

If there is a tie, there will be a four-hole playoff, with the best cumulative score winning the claret jug. The playoff will be held over the first, second, 17th and 18th holes. If it's still tied after that, they go to sudden death.

While it's getting late in the day, there should be plenty of daylight for what is already the first Monday finish at the Open since 1988. It doesn't get dark in this part of Scotland until around 9:30 p.m.

Johnson is on the practice green, warming up in case the Open has its first playoff since 2009.

Spieth is trying to join Ben Hogan as the only golfers to win the first three majors of the year.

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6 p.m.

Marc Leishman has surrendered the outright lead at the British Open with his first bogey in 35 holes.

The 31-year-old Australian hit a nifty shot out of a pot punker at the 16th hole Monday, only to miss a 4-foot putt to save par.

That left him at 15 under, tied with clubhouse leader Zach Johnson. It was Leishman's first bogey since the 17th hole in the second round.

Johnson, the 2007 Masters champion, rolled in a 30-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole for a 6-under 66 in the final round and 273 total.

Leishman picked up his only victory on the PGA Tour at the 2012 Travelers Championship and endured a personal crisis this year when his wife came down with a near-fatal illness.

Leishman dropped out of the Masters to be with his wife and even considered giving up golf. She has since made a nearly full recovery.

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5:35 p.m.

Zach Johnson has posted a score at the British Open.

Now, he'll have to wait to see if it's good enough.

Johnson rolled in a 30-foot birdie putt at the 72nd hole for a 6-under 66 on Monday. He's at 15-under 273, one stroke behind Marc Leishman. The unheralded Aussie is trying to pull off a major surprise, pushing his score to 16 under with a bogey-free round through 15 holes.

Leishman still has to play No. 17, the ominous Road Hole.

Jordan Spieth is two shots back and has four holes left.

When Johnson's final putt dropped in the cup, his knees buckled and he pumped his right fist.

His caddie, Damon Green, did a little dance to celebrate.

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5:25 p.m.

Jordan Spieth is bidding for the Grand Slam. Australia's Marc Leishman is trying to pull off a huge surprise at the British Open.

Leishman has yet to make a bogey and pushed his score to 16 under and led with four holes to play Monday at the Old Course.

Louis Oosthuizen is one shot off the lead, while Spieth is among those who are two shots back.

Zach Johnson and Adam Scott shared the lead until both ran into trouble on the back nine. Johnson bogeyed the 13th, and took another bogey at the 17th after his foot appeared to slip as he was hitting his second shot. Scott dropped back with consecutive bogeys on the 14th and 15th holes.

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4:45 p.m.

Jordan Spieth is bouncing back in the British Open after a major mistake at one of the shortest holes on the Old Course.

One shot off the lead as he went to the 174-yard eighth on Monday, Spieth hit an errant tee shot that wound up at least 100 feet right of the flag. Then, one of the best putters on the PGA Tour sent one rocketing past the cup, the ball rolling off the other side of the green.

Spieth putted back up to about 4 feet, but missed the short one for a double-bogey.

That dropped him three shots behind the co-leaders at the time, Adam Scott and Zach Johnson.

But Spieth bounced back with birdies at the ninth and 10th holes, leaving him just two shots out of the lead and still eyeing his third straight major title.

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3:35 p.m.

Zach Johnson made the turn in the final round of the British Open with the outright lead.

The 2007 Masters champion shot 31 on the front nine to push his score to 14 under.

But nothing is settled in the Open's first Monday finish since 1988.

Five players are within one shot of the lead, including Jordan Spieth. He's trying to join Ben Hogan as the only players to win the first three majors of the year.

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3:05 p.m.

Paul Dunne finally looks like an amateur at the British Open.

The 22-year-old Irishman began the final round Monday as the first amateur to hold at least a share of the 54-hole lead since Bobby Jones in 1927.

But the pressure of the moment seemed to get to the youngster from his very first shot.

Dunne hit a poor drive at No. 1, chunked his second shot short of the burn, chipped over the water to about 12 feet, but struck a weak putt that left him with his first bogey in 21 holes.

He made another at the second, after driving onto the putting green over by the New Course.

That drops Dunne to 10 under for the tournament and three shots off the lead. In fact, he's no longer the low amateur. That spot belongs to Ashley Chester of England, who's at 11 under through 13 holes.

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2:20 p.m.

With his eyes on the claret jug and a shot at the Grand Slam, Jordan Spieth has teed off on a rainy afternoon at the British Open.

Spieth is one shot off the lead and playing in the next-to-last group with co-leader Jason Day.

The other co-leaders, Louis Oosthuizen and amateur Paul Dunne, are in the final group.

Spieth is looking to join Ben Hogan as the only players to win the first three majors of the year. The 21-year-old Texan already claimed the Masters and the U.S. Open.

No player has won all four majors in a calendar year. The PGA Championship is next month at Whistling Strait.

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2 p.m.

Dustin Johnson hoped for a quick start to get back into contention at the British Open.

Instead, he played himself totally out of the mix at the beginning of the final round Monday.

After a birdie at the opening hole, Johnson sprayed a shot into the gorse at No. 2, had to take a penalty, and settled for a bogey. He bogeyed the next two holes as well, slipped in a birdie at No. 5, then bogeyed two of the next three holes to drop his score to 4-under par.

He is now eight shots back, with the leaders still waiting to tee off.

Johnson led after 36 holes but an ugly 75 on Sunday knocked him back. He's made only one par in his last 12 holes, to go along with eight bogeys and three birdies, all but throwing away another shot at his first major title.

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1:30 p.m.

This could only happen to Phil Mickelson.

Lefty was moving up the leaderboard Monday in the British Open with a string of birdies that got him to 10-under, just 2 shots off the lead. With winds picking up and rain expected later, a good finish might have at least put him in the conversation on the Old Course.

Then he hit his drive on 17, the famous Road Hole where players often aim over the corner of the Old Course Hotel to find a narrow patch of fairway on the other side.

Unfortunately, Mickelson's aim was off. His ball hit the hotel itself, bouncing around before making an improbable landing on the balcony of someone's room. There, the ball sat, almost taunting him.

Mickelson would go on to make a triple bogey 7 on the hole, effectively ending his chances.

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12:20 p.m.

Another amateur is surging into contention at the British Open.

Former Georgia Tech star Ollie Schniederjans is 6 under through his first 10 holes Monday, pushing his overall score to 10 under. He has seven birdies and is just two shots off the lead, with the final group still more than two hours from teeing off.

The 22-year-old Schniederjans is one of three amateurs in the top seven, a group that includes co-leader Paul Dunne at 12 under. Another amateur, Jordan Niebrugge, is three shots off the pace.

Schniederjans was the world's top-ranked amateur last year and is playing his final tournament before turning pro at next week's Canadian Open.

In the meantime, the engraver of the claret jug is no doubt sweating a bit as Schniederjans moves up the leaderboard.

That would be a lot of letters to quickly get on the trophy.

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11:55 a.m.

Jordan Spieth has arrived at the Old Course.

The 21-year-old Texan stopped to sign a few autographs Monday before heading to the practice range to begin preparing for his shot at history in the British Open.

He's already won the Masters and the U.S. Open, and he's trying to join Ben Hogan as the only players to win the first three majors of a year. Spieth is one shot off the lead heading into the final round.

If he can win the Open, Spieth will go to next month's PGA Championship trying to become the first player to win the modern version of the Grand Slam.

Spieth tees off at 2:20 p.m. in the next-to-last group with co-leader Jason Day.

Day is tied for the top spot with Louis Oosthuizen and amateur Paul Dunne, who will tee off in the final group at 2:30 p.m.

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11:35 a.m.

Bernhard Langer has made what could be his final crossing of the Swilcan Bridge.

The 57-year-old German got into the British Open for the first time since 2011 by winning last year's Senior Open Championship. He proved himself worthy by making the cut, and finished up with an even-par 72 on Monday.

Langer knows that he's a longshot to make the field when the Open returns to St. Andrews in 2020. So he lingered a bit on the famous stone arch in the 18th fairway, waving to the crowd and posing for pictures. He blew kisses after his final putt gave him a 1-over 289 for the week.

Langer never won the British Open but he usually played well at St. Andrews. In seven appearances at the Old Course, he missed the cut only once and tied for the runner-up spot behind Seve Ballesteros in 1984.

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11 a.m.

For the first time since 1988, the British Open is finishing on a Monday.

It looks like another day for going low at the Old Course.

The morning starters are again playing under partly sunny skies with only a light breeze, setting up a repeat of Sunday's third round when the scoreboard was filled with red numbers. New Zealand's Ryan Fox posted a 5-under 67 playing in the first group. South African Branden Grace is 6 under through 13 holes.

Of course, all eyes are on Jordan Spieth, who's looking to pick up the third leg of the Grand Slam. He's one shot off the lead. Then there's Paul Dunne, positioned to be the first amateur champion since Bobby Jones in 1930. Dunne is tied for the top spot with Jason Day and Louis Oosthuizen.

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Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963