- Open champ Zach Johnson pays tribute to 'phenomenal' Spieth
- The 21-year-old fell just short in his quest to make major history
- Was one of the first to congratulate Johnson on his victory
Open champion Zach Johnson has paid tribute to Jordan Spieth after the Masters and US Open winner fell just short in his quest to make major history.
The 21-year-old narrowly missed a tough uphill birdie putt to join Johnson, Marc Leishman and Louis Oosthuizen in a play-off at St Andrews, meaning the chance to become the first player to win the first three majors of the year since Ben Hogan in 1953 slipped from his grasp.
But despite Spieth’s undoubted disappointment, he stayed behind to embrace ‘role model’ Johnson after his one-shot play-off win, a gesture which was greatly appreciated by the 2015 Champion Golfer of the Year.
"He’s a better person than he is a golfer" - Zach Johnson
“He said congratulations and that he was proud,” said Zach Johnson. “He’s a peer of mine, an acquaintance of mine and a really good friend of mine.
“To have a champion like Jordan take the time on 18 to give me best wishes, and certainly his caddie Mike, speaks volumes as to what he is. He’s a phenomenal talent and I’m telling you right now, he’s a better person than he is a golfer.”
Johnson also spoke about the pressure that Spieth must’ve been under coming into and throughout the tournament and, had a couple of things gone his way, believes he could’ve easily been lifting the Claret Jug instead.
“He’s 18 years younger which is some perspective and I can’t describe the magnitude as to what he was going through,” said Zach Johnson. “Obviously I’ve never been in that position but we haven’t really seen that with the exception of Tiger. Truthfully, he could’ve won as someone said he had a double out there."
Spieth also tweeted his congratulations to Johnson, saying:
Johnson’s win has lifted him up 13 places in the world rankings to No.12, while Spieth is edging closer to knocking injured Rory McIlroy off the world No.1 spot.
Zach Johnson on Spieth :: Your thoughts
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