Scott Ferrall watched every shot of the British Open on Monday, and to him, what he saw was truly great golf.
Yes, for all the talk about weather and schedules and suspensions of play, Monday was golf at its best. So many players were in the running at St. Andrews, and in the end, Zach Johnson won his second major – in a playoff, no less.
It’s too bad that basically every announcer was upset about that.
Yes, seemingly everyone was rooting for Jordan Spieth to win his third consecutive major, which is a bummer for Johnson, who won his first major since donning the green jacket in 2007.
“Yeah, it is (a bummer). We talked about (that) afterwards as well,” PGA Tour Network and Sirius XM play-by-play anchor Brian Katrek said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “I think it’s okay to be bummed out that Jordan Spieth didn’t win. Zach Johnson wining his second major – or even Marc Leishman winning his first or Louis Oosthuizen winning his second, it doesn’t matter – those are all wonderful stories and nobody’s going to take this away. I liken it back to Stewart Cink beating Tom Watson (at the British Open) back in 2009.”
Watson was vying for his sixth British Open championship and the chance to become golf’s oldest major champion at 59. Instead, he lost to Cink in a four-hole playoff.
“You’re happy for Stewart Cink,” Katrek said. “You can’t find a nicer guy on the planet – maybe other than Zach Johnson or Jordan Spieth. These are all great guys. It’s not about them at all. It’s about the other guy, and the other story would have been better. I don’t think it’s their journalistic integrity; I think it’s just (that) as a fan, everybody wanted to see Jordan (win). He was that close.”
Spieth shot a 274, missing the playoff by just one stroke.
“If Jordan Spieth misses the cut or if he’s five shots back, that’s one thing,” Katrek said. “But when he made that bomb at 16, all of a sudden he’s in it. Now you just got to hang on at 17, and a birdie at 18 is going to win the golf tournament. You’re going to have three legs of the Grand Slam down, and we’re going to watch it. We all thought that.”
Spieth, however, missed a birdie putt from the Valley of Sin on the final hole that rolled inches to the left of the cup.
“For it to come apart at 17 and miss a make-able putt, and then he gets in between clubs at 18 and brings it back off the green and into the Valley of Sin – and even then, the putt from there almost went in,” Katrek said. “It was a big bummer. He toyed with our emotions. That was the story of the week. Zach Johnson is still the British Open champion, but it was just a bigger story if Jordan Spieth won.”