American Zach Johnson claimed the second major victory of his career when he beat Australian Marc Leishman and Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa in a four-hole playoff at the British Open.

Johnson, who won the US Masters in 2007, was one under par for the extra holes. Oosthuizen was level par and Leishman two over.

The 39-year-old wiped tears from his eyes before hugging his wife as he walked off the 18th green to pick up the coveted Claret Jug and a first prize of $1.79m.

One of the first to congratulate Johnson was fellow American Jordan Spieth who failed by one stroke to make the playoff after a day of fluctuating fortunes.

Spieth, 21, bidding to become the first player since compatriot Ben Hogan in 1953 to land the opening three majors of the year, finished with a three-under 69 for 274, 14 under.

Johnson (66), Leishman (66) and Oosthuizen (69) ended the regulation 72 holes on 15 under.

Irish amateur Paul Dunne, who went into the final round in a tie for the lead, slumped to a closing 78 and had to make do with a share for 30th position on 282.

It was only the second time the championship had finished on a Monday after heavy rain and strong winds caused havoc earlier in the tournament.

Source: Reuters