I’m emotionally exhausted and completely drained. It’s Monday afternoon at roughly 2:11PM. This isn’t a good sign for the week to come.
The platform of major championship are meant to provide memories, create entertainment and cement legacies in the storied sport of golf. So far, these three major championships have been some of the best in golf history (aside from being 3-for-3 in American winners for the first time since 1998).
I couldn’t assemble this blog in typical recap fashion. There was simply too much that happened and it required it to be broken up into a few segments with thoughts offered from there.
This is me right now. pic.twitter.com/Hi6KddN6V4
— Troy Klongerbo Golf (@troy_usgolftv) July 20, 2015
First, let’s take a look at the final leaderboard from The Old Course: And the aggregate playoff:
The Open Championship Recap
The Jordan #SpiethSlam Heartbreak
In the bid for the first grand slam in golf since Bobby Jones in 1930– and the first in modern history– Spieth gave golf fans, and casual fans, an adrenaline rush felt on a Monday morning. Have you ever had a Monday with that much adrenaline pumping? In the end, he was a few missed short putts, a bogey on his 71st hole and a duck hook/missed wedge from giving himself a shot in the playoff. But his response to the near miss? Exactly what you’d expect….Class.
Now of course, when something like this happens, the click-baiters are going to go crazy with the headlines.
The fact that Jordan was so close is nothing short of incredible. Contention in professional golf isn’t a gimme by any means, but he makes it look like it is each and every week. Only a kid at his age (21, remember?) can play so much “in the hunt” golf and still watch the conclusion of play in the playoff. He is an absolute golf junkie and his energy never seems to tire. But in conclusion:
Jason Day, Misses Yet Again
For anyone who followed the Twitter action of his wife, Ellie, they could feel the pain the Days have endured in Jason’s pursuit of his elusive first major championship.
When his last putt on the 18th missed and his bid for the Claret Jug came up short, his wife tweeted this simply, telling emoji.
😭 — Ellie Day (@ellielaneday) July 20, 2015
Seeing the emotion she showed is telling of the motivation Jason has to break through. From his poverty ridden upbringing in Australia, to his stardom on the main stages of professional golf, his story is one that seems destined to be crowned champion. But his impatience is increasing, it’s evident. And his heartbreak? It was visible on the 72nd green with his final grimace.
Marc Leishman’s Roller Coster
From the story on his wife (read the story from April) where he almost lost the mother of his children, to losing his place in the Masters this spring after a last minute withdrawal– Marc and his Leishman family has been through enough in 2015. A win at the home of golf would have been a tremendous capper for an already eventful year for the Aussie. He set the weekend record for Open scoring, finishing with scores of 64-66–130. In the end, it wasn’t enough. And check this out:
At the start of Sunday: Marc Leishman — T50 Dustin Johnson — solo 1st Now: Dustin Johnson — T50 Marc Leishman — solo 1st — Brendan Porath (@BrendanPorath) July 20, 2015
The hopes of triumph he had when he teed off on the 1st hole of the four hole aggregate were dashed only minutes later on the green.
It was the end of the road on a story that could’ve been special.
Zach Johnson Gracious Moment and Championship
He seemed destined as a man to be a PGA Tour dominator, racking up the wins, but remain as one with limited major championship glory. His game seems carbon-cut for a US Open grind, but it’s actually Open Championship play where he’s seen success.
He had been racking up top-10s over the past few years, but really no serious contention for the “guy from Cedar Rapids” in majors. Perhaps that’s why this felt so unexpected.
This win by Zach Johnson feels the way it did in 2013 when Phil Mickelson claimed the Claret Jug in a tournament he thought he would never have the game to win. Zach, despite a few good finishes, never seemed like the player to get into the winner’s circle overseas.
But now, it makes so much sense– especially here. A world-class wedge player, Zach plots his way around golf courses in a way few do. His ball flight is penetrating and decisive, perfect for the winds in Scotland. His putting? When on, it’s as clutch as you can find in the game.
A champion at St. Andrews really does make sense.
There are a ton of wedges on this golf course. After all, the course starts and ends with a wedge. With bunkers everywhere, Zach’s precision should have no problem keeping it away from those and a sure 1-stroke penalty. Even as a birdie-fest, it makes sense that he was able to come away a winner.
Zach Johnson is a tremendous champion and competitor, who finished his dignified champion’s speech with the following:
“I am honored to be your champion. Thank you very, very much.”
And what an eventful few weeks for Zach.