zach johnson
The scoreboard pays tribute after Zach Johnson of the US wins the British Open 2015Reuters

The British Open 2015 winner did come from America, but it wasn't the one who was tipped to lift the Claret Jug – Jordan Spieth.

It was rather someone who flew under the radar from the start. It wasn't fellow American Dustin Johnson either, who enjoyed a dream of a start in the 114th Open Championship, instead it was Zach Johnson, who picked up his maiden British Open title.

The 39-year-old, whose only major win was the 2007 Masters prior to the Open Championship 2015, recorded his victory via a three-man playoff on a thrilling final day at the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland, on Monday.

Johnson finished a shot ahead of South African Louis Oosthuizen and three ahead of Australian Marc Leishman over four extra holes, after the three ended level on -15 after the designated 72 holes of the championship.

Like many of the golfing fans around the world, the American – who turned pro in 1998 – was amazed after the win and was at a loss of words.

"I can't play any better than I did. I had a lull on Friday and Saturday, but nothing significant, but stayed in it and waited for the opportunities and made a few," said Johnson.

"I am fairly speechless right now. Dreams have been realised and goals accomplished.

"I'm humbled, I'm honoured to be your Open Champion and your champion golfer of the year."

So remarkable was the thrilling win that Johnson was reduced to tears, before hugging his wife as he walked off the 18th green to pick up the coveted Claret Jug and a first prize of £1.15million.

Even Spieth, who was on the verge of completing a treble of the Masters, the US Open as well as the British Open this year, had to admit that the performance of his compatriot on the day – when it mattered the most – was exceptional.

Spieth finished 14-under-par and missed out on a thrilling playoff by just a whisker. But losing out on an opportunity to complete a career slam of majors is something that will trouble Spieth more. However, he still has the chance to match the feat of Ben Hogan (in 1953) and Tiger Woods (in 2000) in winning three of golf's coveted majors in a calendar year. That is if he wins the PGA Championship next month.

"Right now it's a tough feeling to be that close in a major," said Spieth. "To be that close on our biggest stage and come up short, how many chances do you get? It's tough to swallow."

Matching the feat of Hogan and Woods is something he is keen on now.

"That would be the next goal as far as the history goes," added Spieth, who has missed the cut twice in his only two appearances at US PGA Championship.

If Spieth or any other American does manage to win the PGA Championship next month, it would be for the first time since 1982 that US players will hold all four majors in a year.

Meanwhile, Rory Mcllroy still holds the World No 1 ranking despite missing the British Open after rupturing his ankle ligament just a few days prior to the start of the Open Championship 2015.

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