Zach Johnson wins British Open; Jordan Spieth misses playoff, denied shot at Grand Slam


Jordan Spieth reacts after nearly chipping in on the 13th hole during his final round of the British Open on Monday, July 20, 2015. (Photo: BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)

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ST. ANDREWS, Scotland — Jordan Spieth fell short of the playoff at the British Open by one shot Monday, ending his bid to become the first player to win all four of golf’s majors in a calendar year.

American Zach Johnson won a four-hole aggregate playoff against Australian Marc Leishman and South African Louis Oosthuizen, who made birdie on the 18th hole. Johnson beat Oosthuizen by one shot and Leishman by three. It’s Johnson’s second major win, having previously won the 2007 Masters.

The 21-year-old Spieth from Texas won the Masters in April and the U.S. Open in June. Had he won Monday, he would have tried to complete the first calendar-year Grand Slam at the PGA Championship at Whistling Straigs in Kohler, Wis., next month.

Spieth was trying to be the first player since Ben Hogan in 1953 to win the Masters, U.S. Open and British Open in the same year. Tiger Woods won four consecutive Grand Slam titles, but they weren’t in the same calendar year, winning from the 2000 U.S. Open to the 2001 Masters.

Spieth was one shot behind Johnson and Leishman when he curled in a 45-foot putt for birdie on the 16th hole.

But with Johnson, who made a 30-foot birdie putt on No. 18, and Leishman already in at 15-under par, Spieth still had two holes to play, including the difficult Road Hole No. 17.

His approach shot came up short and he sent his chip 8 feet past the hole. Needing to make the putt to stay tied, he missed to fall one shot back.

Needing birdie on No. 18, Spieth drove his tee shot to the left. His approach was pin high, but it spun back into the so-called “Valley of Sin.” His birdie putt to get into the playoff missed just to the left.

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