American golfer Zach Johnson wept as he openly thanked God when he won the 2015 British Open Championship at St. Andrews in Fife, Scotland on Monday, July 20. How did he win? Johnson said that he “had some Scriptures going” in his head.
"I was reading bits of scripture to myself, things like Psalm 24:7 (which reads, "Lift up your heads, you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in"). I've been reading them all week. I thank God for the talent he's given me, and I take it seriously," said 39-year-old Johnson.
Johnson humbly said that he was “just a guy from Iowa and to have a green jacket and the Claret Jug is unbelievable.” The golfer refuses to let the victory go to his head and “define” who he is. He stated that the victory will not be his “legacy” and added that his “wife and kids” are his legacy.
Johnson won in a 4-hole playoff against South African golfer Louis Oosthuizen and Australian golfer Marc Leishman. The 144th British Open was Johnson’s second major victory. The last time he won a major title was at the 2007 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia.
When he won in 2007, Johnson said that his “responsibility was to glorify God.” In 2013, Johnson shared his testimony of how he encountered Christ on the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) website. He “discovered what it meant to “live for Christ,” when he took a pre-engagement class with his future spouse.
Johnson grew up in a Catholic household, but had “always thought being a Christian would be boring.” When he met Kim Barclay in 2000, he began attending her Christian church. He accepted Jesus Christ into his life in 2002. He said that he “could sense the Holy Spirit at work.”
“In reality, it has been the complete opposite. There is joy, fulfillment and even fun! There also are challenges and trials, but knowing that my foundation lies in Jesus and what He has done for me is what is important. It’s all that matters,” said Johnson.