Faith

Winning Golfer Thanks the Lord

Zach Johnson's faith an 'Open' secret

American pro golfer Zach Johnson, 39, has won his second major title, winning the British Open at the fabled St. Andrews in Scotland, widely known as the birthplace of golf.

Johnson beat Louis Oosthuizen and Marc Leishman after the three finished tied at fifteen under par at the end of regulation play.

Johnson edged out Oosthuizen by a stroke when the South African missed a 12-footer birdie putt at the 18th hole. Leishman finished three shots back Monday.

“I felt patient, I had some scripture going in my head, I thanked the Lord, my friends, my family…”

Johnson has had twelve victories on the PGA tour. A committed Christian, Johnson was clearly emotional and at a loss for words when interviewed on the course by ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi about the win.

But he quickly pulled his thoughts together to show his thinking on the last hole: “I felt patient, I had some scripture going in my head, I thanked the Lord, my friends, my family…”

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Johnson has a history of humility and of crediting God after success. After winning the 2007 Masters, his first major, he mentioned his Christian faith and thanked God, saying: “This being Easter, I cannot help but believe my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, was walking with me. I owe this to Him.”

Johnson was raised a Catholic, but later became a member of his wife’s Baptist church. He attended college at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. They have two sons, Will and Wyatt, and one daughter, Abby Jane. They currently live in St. Simons, Georgia.

At one time he and his wife created a non-profit organization, The Zach Johnson Foundation, dedicated to helping children and their families in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. One program created by Johnson and his wife Kim helped raise $700,000 for community agencies serving children in need.

Clutching the newly-engraved Claret Cup and speaking in front of assembled media, St. Andrews officials, and cheering fans, a clearly moved Johnson said, “I’m grateful. I’m humbled. I’m honored. This is the birthplace of the game, and that jug means to much in sports. I felt great. I’m just in awe right now.”

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