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Zach Johnson wins 2015 British Open, firms for PGA Championship

THE 2015 Open Championship may have lasted longer than we expected, but a winner has been crowned and his name isn’t Jordan Spieth.

Fellow American Zach Johnson has claimed his second major (2007 US Masters) after winning a thrilling four-hole playoff with South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen and Australia’s Marc Leishman.

The 39-year-old finished his fourth round with a 66, along with Leishman, which was good enough for a three-way playoff which he won with a score of -1.

Jordan Spieth was only one shot back in fourth position, tied with Jason Day who had to suffer yet another close major defeat, but his odds for the upcoming 2015 USPGA Championship ($26 at Sportsbet.com.au) already look like great value.

A host of recognisable players finished in the top 20, including Sergio Garcia, Justin Rose and Adam Scott.

The top amateur prize went to Jordan Niebrugge on -11, which didn’t look likely before the final round as fellow amateur Paul Dunne was in a share for the lead, but he blew out with a disappointing 78 to finish T-30.

The odds for the USPGA Championship at Whistling Straits beginning August 13 have been adjusted following the Open Championship, but the two dominating figures of world golf continue to dominant the market.

2015 PGA Championship odds

2014 winner Rory McIlroy suffered an injury and missed the Open and it is unsure when he will make a return, but the bookmakers have kept the world number one safe in the market for the PGA Championship

The Northern Irishman is currently second favourite at $7, one point behind Jordan Spieth at $6 who was so close to keeping the grand slam dream alive.

Take nothing away from Spieth’s performance at St. Andrews as it was only the second tournament he had every played at the home of golf – the other played as an amateur.

Zach Johnson has naturally firmed in the market to $41, the same line as Tiger Woods who was well and truly beaten this week. Other firmers include Rickie Fowler, Martin Kaymer and Louis Oosthuizen.

Jordan Spieth – $6
Rory McIlroy – $7
Dustin Johnson – $11
Adam Scott – $19
Justin Rose – $19
Bubba Watson – $23
Henrik Stenson – $23
Rickie Fowler – $26
Jason Day – $26
Martin Kaymer -$29
Phil Mickelson – $31
Sergio Garcia – $34
Louis Oosthuizen – $34
Tiger Woods – $41
Zach Johnson – $41 at CrownBet.com.au
Hideki Matsuyama – $46
Matt Kuchar – $51
Jimmy Walker – $51
Brandt Snedeker – $51
Patrick Reed – $51

Open Championship performers:

Brooks Koepka – $51
Padraig Harrington – $81
Luke Donald – $81
Marc Leishman – $81
Ernie Els – $151

Rory McIlroy injury update

Reports state that Rory McIlroy is recovering well from the ankle injury he suffered playing social football with his friends.

There has, however, been no return date set for the world’s best golfer and his chances of taking part in the 2015 PGA Championship are up in the air.

McIlroy ruptured an ankle ligament on July 4 and announced four days later that he would not compete at St. Andrews to defend his title. He decided to take a “long-term” view of his injury.

Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke isn’t confident that McIlroy will compete in the years final major at Whistling Straits.

He suggested that those comments meant that McIlroy wouldn’t return till “early next year”, but it was later understood that Clarke’s comments were meant as a joke.

A spokesman for McIlroy cleared the air.

“There was no basis for Darren’s comments. Rory’s rehabilitation is progressing well but his return date is not yet known.”