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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Limerick Summary: 2015 Open Championship

Winner: Zach Johnson

Around the wider world of golf: Chella Choi finally got her first win (Dad can finally retire from the caddie biz!) at the Marathon Classic on the LPGA; Annie Park won the Toyota Danielle Downey Classic on the Symetra Tour; Si Woo Kim won the Stonebrae Classic on the Tour; J.J. Spaun won the Staal Foundation Open on the Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada; Scott Piercy won the Barbasol Championship, the PGA Tour alternate event; and Yoko Maeda won the Samantha Thavasa Girls Collection Ladies on the JLPGA (bangkokbobby has details).

Zach Johnson lifts the Jug

We didn't get the third leg of the single season Grand Slam. Jordan Spieth's magic finally ran out and he came up a single shot short.

We didn't get the first amateur winner at a major in 85 years. Dunne stumbled early on and Niebrugge could only get to -11, which was enough to get the Silver Medal but not the Silver Jug.

We didn't even get one of the favorites as a winner. The scoring was unbelievable, given the wind, rain and cold, and unless you could keep pace you got left in the mud.

What we DID get was the longest Open Championship in history -- 5 days and 4 extra holes -- and we got a proven major winner who shot the best final round any winner ever shot in an Open at St. Andrews. And he did it with simple guts and tenacity.

Zach Johnson came out early and dropped the hammer on the Open field. Blistering wedge work lit up the course as he went about his business in the nasty weather. His 5-under 31 on the front nine shot him to the top of the leaderboard, and his dramatic birdie on 18 landed him a spot in a 3-way playoff with Louis Oosthuizen and Mark Leishman. Leishman stumbled early as Zach birdied the first two playoff holes to take a single shot lead over Oosthuizen. A couple of misread putts prevented Louis from making up the ground after Zach bogeyed the Road Hole...

And the rest is history.

Zach Johnson becomes the first man ever to get his first two majors at Augusta National and St. Andrews, and it won't surprise anyone if he locked up a place in the World Golf Hall of Fame with his performance. It seems appropriate that the Home of Golf should choose such a gritty unpretentious competitor as its Champion Golfer of 2015.

As Brandel Chamblee noted, we learned that the John Deere Classic is indeed the best way to prepare for an Open Championship. And, if I might be so bold, it also appears to be a good way to grab a shiny new Limerick Summary to keep that shiny Claret Jug company:
The wind and the rain gave the edge
To Zach and his buddy, the wedge.
With birdies galore
He soon charged to the fore
And the hammer he dropped was a sledge!
The photo came from the Open page at the ET site.

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