|5 Great Story Lines from the 2015 British Open|
Before the first golfer even teed off at the 2015 British Open, there were some fascinating story lines that added tremendous interest to the eventual outcome.
Rory McIlroy injury
The golf world on both sides of the Atlantic and beyond was shocked when on July 4th, the world's number one golfer, Rory McIlroy was injured playing football with friends. When the full extent of the injury became known, a total rupture of the anterior ligament in his left ankle, it was obvious that the greatest male player in golf would be unable to compete at the British Open.
Dustin Johnson near-misses
Dustin Johnson came close to winning the U.S. Open championship at Chambers Bay in June, but missed a heart-breaking 2-foot putt for birdie on the 18th hole which would have tied him for the lead with Jordan Spieth. Coupled with other near misses in his turbulent career, Johnson's mindset and mental toughness were in question coming into the British Open.
Jordan Spieth grand slam
One of the biggest sources of curiosity about the 2015 British Open was whether or not 21-year old Jordan Spieth could capture the third leg of the Grand Slam of golf, having already won the Masters Tournament in April and the U.S. Open Championship in June. No one has ever won the Grand Slam as it is currently comprised, in a single calendar year.
St. Andrews weather
Before the tournament began, weather experts predicted there would be some harsh weather during the week, when the tournament was scheduled to be played. Strong winds and rain were both called for, and there was much speculation about how the course would be affected, and which players might be best suited to overcome the difficult playing conditions.
At the end of the third round, amateur Paul Dunne was tied for the lead, and a colossal shock appeared possible at the British Open. To that point, Dunne was the only player in the field who had recorded three rounds in the 60's, and his game appeared rock solid.
How these stories played out
Rory McIlroy did not compete of course, but that did not detract from the excitement provided over the five days of the tournament, which was forcibly extended by the weather. The weather was indeed a factor, causing several stoppages, and pushed the final round into Monday, when calmer conditions prevailed. Dustin Johnson led the tournament for the first two rounds, but faded badly after that, finishing in a tie for 49th place.
Jordan Spieth seemed assured of at least a playoff until he bogeyed the 17th hole, and finished one stroke behind three players who were forced into a playoff. His dreams of a Grand Slam were dashed on the links of St. Andrews, but Spieth performed admirably nonetheless. Amateur Jordan Niebrugge finished in a tie for 6th place, ahead of all other amateur players, including Paul Dunne who slipped to a final round 78.
Zack Johnson, Marc Leishmann, and Louis Oosthuizen finished in a three-way tie, and Johnson became the tournament winner after besting the other two in a 4-hole playoff.
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