Thursday 27 October 2016

Champion Johnson's tribute to Spieth

Open champion Zach Johnson (left) paid tribute to Jordan Spieth after the Masters and US Open winner came agonisingly close to keeping his gran d slam dream alive.

Spieth needed a birdie on the 18th hole at St Andrews to get into a play-off but saw his approach spin back off the green into the Valley of Sin and narrowly missed the birdie attempt.

Johnson went on to defeat 2010 champion Louis Oosthuizen and Australia's Marc Leishman in the four-hole aggregate play-off and Spieth was one of the first to congratulate his Ryder Cup team-mate afterwards.

"I can't describe the magnitude as to what he (Spieth) was going through because I've never been in that position certainly," said Johnson, who finished a shot outside the play-off won by Spieth in the John Deere Classic eight days earlier.

"We haven't really seen that with the exception of Tiger, right?

Irish amateur Paul Dunne, who was joint leader coming into the final round, saw his hopes fade from early on. He finished with a disappointing 78.

Padraig Harrington also saw his title challenge slip away, despite birdies on the first two holes, and ended with a 75.

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