The Open: Zach Johnson returns Claret Jug before title defence

Zach Johnson returns the Claret Jug to the R&A
Zach Johnson (right) returns the Claret Jug he won in 2015 at St Andrews
Venue: Royal Troon Dates: 14 April to 17 July
Coverage: Highlights on BBC TV, listen live on BBC Radio 5 live and follow live text on the BBC Sport website

Defending champion Zach Johnson said he had "bittersweet" feelings about returning the Claret Jug for Thursday's Open Championship at Royal Troon.

Johnson, 40, is grouped with Adam Scott and Henrik Stenson for a 14:15 BST tee-off on day one.

The trophy, first awarded in 1873, must be returned after a year by the winner, who then receives a replica.

"That thing has a lot of weight to it in the sense that it represents golf," the American world number 18 said.

Johnson won The Open in 2015 after a three-man play-off on a thrilling final day. He finished a shot ahead of South African Louis Oosthuizen and three ahead of Australian Marc Leishman over four extra holes.

He added: "It's been in my home town, at the club I grew up at. Certainly my entire team has had it, meaning my coaches at their clinics, their academies.

"They had it for two to four weeks. So I've got to be honest, I probably had the thing for three months."

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