Twenty-three year-old Jordan Spieth fired a final round one under par 69 on Sunday at Royal Birkdale to earn his third major championship and his first Claret Jug. If you didn’t get a chance to see this one, I would encourage you watch the final six holes of the 146th Open Championship to see some of the most clutch shots ever hit in a major event.
It was the tale of two Jordan Spieth’s!
The Jordan Spieth that was three over par at the turn and the one who went five under par in the final five holes to deny 39 year-old Matt Kuchar his first major championship.
After hitting a nice drive at the first hole that just had some bad luck attached to it, it looked like the youngster from Dallas was on his way to another final-round meltdown that was reminiscent of his disaster at Augusta in 2016. It denied him his third major and second Green Jacket in as many years.
After making bogey, it went from bad to worse. The short putts that he made on Saturday suddenly had trips on the cellophane highway around the cup.
Spieth had trouble on the big shots when the wind was hitting him in the back. It was the drive at the 13th hole that started the sequence that will be remembered as long as there is an Open Championship.
His ball went so far right that it cleared the dunes next to the driving range and was, for all practical purposes, unplayable.
Johnny Miller continued to call for him to go back to the tee, but in all of the chaos, Jordan Spieth kept his head and understood that the driving range was part of the golf course. He could take relief anywhere that he could get line of site around trailers and cameras.
He had caddie Michael Greller go back on the hill and show him the way to the green.
He even had the patience and knowledge to wave Greller away from the target line so he wouldn’t incur another penalty.
The blind third shot turned into the biggest bogey of is career.
Then came the magic!
A near hole-out at the par three 14th hole got him back even with Matt Kuchar before he drained a 45 foot eagle putt at the par five 15th.
The barrage continued when he matched Kuchar’s birdie at the 16th.
The rest, they say, is history.
Jordan Spieth becomes the second youngest player in golf history to win three legs of the career slam, only Jack Nicklaus was younger.
“Is Jordan Spieth something else?” Jack Nicklaus tweeted.
He turns 24 next week and heads to Quail Hollow next month looking for a Wanamaker Trophy and a completion of that career slam.
Zach Johnson, Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler were among those who waited by the 18th to watch Spieth capture yet another major. Johnson won at St. Andrews two years ago, when Spieth missed the playoff by one shot in his bid for the calendar Grand Slam. Spieth drank wine from the jug that year, which he was told was bad luck for anyone wanting to possess the trophy one day.
“I started to believe them a bit through nine holes today,” he said. “It feels good to have this in my hands.”