It was only fitting a playoff would bring to a close the 144th British Open at the Home of Golf.
Torrential rain closed the Old Course on Friday, gale-forced winds stopped play Saturday and amateurs ran amok of the yellow leaderboards during only the second Monday finish in the tournament’s history.
Late on the fifth day of play, Zach Johnson, Marc Leishman and Louis Oosthuizen took to the first hole for a four-hole playoff with the best aggregate score claiming the Claret Jug.
Forty-five minutes later Johnson joined Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Sam Snead, Seve Ballesteros and Nick Faldo as the only players to win the Masters and a British Open on the Old Course.
Pretty good company for the man who says he’s just an ordinary guy from Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
“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.
“I’m grateful, I’m humbled, I’m thankful. I’m honored, this is the birthplace of the game, and that jug means so much in sports, specifically this tournament and golf. It hasn’t set in yet … I felt great, I was patient, I had some scripture going in my head and I thank the Lord, I thank my friends, I thank my family. I’m just in awe right now.”