Jordan Spieth Wins the 146th Open Championship PDF Print E-mail




Jordan Spieth shows off the Claret Jug after winning the 146th Open Championship

Southport, England - As if last year's Open Championship at Royal Troon (where

Phil battled Henrik in an epic duel) wasn't an instant classic, we were once again

treated to high drama and a championship worthy of the game's best prize. This

was another edition of a special player doing extraordinary things to win a major

championship and re-write history. Leading since the opening round of the

146th Open Championship at Royal Birkdale, Jordan Spieth's path to win his

third career major championship seemed as if it was being forged by destiny.

But a brutal beginning to Game #39 tested Spieth's mettle, a bad bounce on

the opening tee shot prompted caddie Michael Greller to set the tone early

with a gut check to his boss telling him to "get over it". Despite the sage advice,

bogeys on 3 of the first 4 holes looked to be derailing destiny's plan. That and

Solid play by fellow American challenger Matt Kuchar brought the tilt to a dead

heat by the turn (at 8 under par).


What became a classic "mano a mano" duel on the English links remained knotted

until Spieth sprayed his tee shot 70 yards right of the fairway on the par 4 -

thirteenth requiring a bizarre unplayable situation that took nearly 20 minutes to

get settled. When the dust cleared, Spieth holed a 7 footer for a miracle bogey while

Kuchar made a routine par, and for the first time in the championship - had the lead.

But somehow it wasn't the 39 year old who had the mojo, it was Jordan Spieth

that re-gained the momentum and a mental edge. You could practically sense what

was coming next. Kuchar safely hit the green on the par 3 fourteenth, but faced

a lengthy putt, Spieth seized the moment and nearly aced his 6 iron, leaving nothing

more than a tap in. Kuchar made his par, while Spieth converted the birdie and

once again shared a piece of the lead. On the par 5 fifteenth, Jordan made two of

his best swings of the day reaching the green in two, then draining the 45 foot bomb

for eagle (Kuchar made birdie) - once again gainied his grasp on the Claret Jug. He

never let Kuch back up for air, that 3 hole stretch of made putts was the haymaker.

In fact, the 23 year old Texan played that stretch of four holes (14-17) in 5 under par

to end Kuchar's major championship dream. Spieth's -12 (268 total) was good

enough for a three shot victory (Kuchar bogeyed the last to finish at 9 under par).


Afterward, a tired "Champion Golfer of the Year" reflected on the crazy drama filled

day at Royal Birkdale: "That was eventful, seventeen pars and a birdie would have

been fine too. There's a lot of roads to get there, and today I was put in a tough one

early on and showed some resiliency," Spieth said. "I owe a lot of credit to my guy on

the bag for that because as you can imagine thoughts come in from the last scenario

from when I was leading a major on Sunday." In the middle of his his winners press

conference he sighed and said "That round took as much out of me as any day that I've

ever played golf."


Jack Nicklaus is the only other player in history to win his third major championship

before the age of 24 (Spieth turns 24 on Wednesday).


China's Haotong Li shot 63 on Sunday to finish solo third. Rory McIlroy showed signs

of improved form with rounds of 71-68-69-67 to finish fourth at 5 under par. Branden

Grace shot 62 on Saturday breaking the all-time scoring record for a round in a major

championship, he finished tied for sixth at 4 under par.


Jordan Spieth goes to Quail Hollow in three weeks attempting to win the career Grand

Slam (a feat only accomplished by Nicklaus, Hogan, Sarazen, Player and Woods).