He ended the day tied for the lead at 12 under with the last man to win the Open at St Andrews, Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa (67), and Australian shot-maker Jason Day (67).
Not since Bobby Jones has an amateur won the British Open, and then along came Paul Dunne with a bogey-free performance Sunday at St. Andrews that gave him a share of the lead.
After squandering a day for going low, Johnson left himself with a massive catch-up job on Monday. So, the Claret Jug would count. Since signing Spieth to wear Under Armour from head to toe, the Baltimore-based apparel company has more than doubled its golf-related earnings.
Those hoping for history had to settle, instead, for one of the most riveting 72-hole, five-day Open Championship horse races ever at the place where golf was born. “I had a lull on Friday and Saturday but nothing significant, but stayed in it and waited for the opportunities and made a few”. It’s not like I lost it on the last hole.
Australia’s Marc Leishman reacts after missing a putt on the 16th… By the end of the season Spieth is likely to be pulling in $5 million to $10 million in annual endorsements, said Matt Delzell, managing director of The Marketing Arm, who negotiates such endorsement deals.
But the 39-year-old surged into the lead with five birdies in a front nine of 31 and recovered from a bogey on the 17th, where he topped his second shot after his right foot slipped on his downswing, with a birdie on the last.
“I know it’s great to him up there”.
Spieth, who won the Masters and U.S. Open earlier this year, could become the first golfer since Ben Hogan to win those two majors and a British Open in the same year.
Now, he’s facing fresh doubts about his ability to finish off a major championship.
“I think there will be amateur that wins a PGA event or something like that, possibly even a major, at some point in the next decade or so”, Spieth said. It caught the left edge of the cup, and Johnson was in tears.
“I just played my game”.
“I didn’t feel like I played that bad”, he said. It didn’t get any better on the back side, where his lone birdie at the 15th was wiped out by bogeys on the final three holes.
Spieth showed guts over the final two hours, and class when his bid was over.
The four-hole playoffs also includes the second, 17th and 18th hole.
“I can’t. I’m at a loss for words”, an emotional Johnson said in a TV interview moments after the playoff, with tears in his eyes.
Jordan Niebrugge, another American amateur, will also start his final round at nine under later on Monday.
Spieth had a share of the lead after a lengthy birdie at the 16th hole. A lot of them fell away.
Although Spieth bogeyed the “brutally challenging” 17th Road Hole, he acknowledged an otherwise polished 69 unravelled with an inexplicable brainstorm on the Old Course’s first par three.