24 Jul 2017 - 1:37
Spieth wins British Open for third major
Southport: Jordan Spieth won the British Open at Royal Birkdale on Sunday by three shots from fellow American Matt Kuchar after a dramatic final round.
Spieth, 23, shot a 69 to finish on 12 under par, with Kuchar second at nine-under. He is the first man to post four rounds in the 60s in an Open at Birkdale.
It is Spieth’s third major title after he won the Masters and US Open in 2015.
Spieth had been top of the leaderboard after each of the first three rounds and his victory saw him emulate the great Jack Nicklaus in getting his hands on a third different major before turning 24.
“This is a dream come true for me. It feels good to have this in my hands,” a beaming Spieth said after receiving the Claret Jug trophy on the 18th green.
He had started the day three shots ahead of Kuchar but he very nearly threw it away, bogeying three of the first four holes as he went out in 37, three-over.
Spieth and Kuchar were level at eight-under standing on the 13th tee, when the former’s wild drive forced him to take a drop and play his approach to the green from an adjacent practice ground.
He escaped with a bogey to trail by just one stroke going onto the 14th, before recovering his nerve to pick up three birdies and an eagle in his next four holes and secure the Claret Jug in astonishing fashion.
Kuchar had four birdies but also three bogeys, including at the 18th, as he finished with a one-under 69 and missed out on what would have been a first major of his career at the age of 39.
“It could have gone to either one of us but I got the good breaks,” admitted Spieth, who celebrates his 24th birthday next Thursday and is the youngest Open champion since a 22-year-old Seve Ballesteros won at Royal Lytham and St Annes in 1979.
China’s Li Haotong came from nowhere to finish third on six-under after a stunning seven-under-par last round of 63.
Rory McIlroy, the 2014 champion, finished with a 67 to share fourth on five-under with Spain’s Rafael Cabrera-Bello.
Current US Open champion Brooks Koepka shot a 71 and finished in a group of five players tied for sixth on four-under that also included South Africa’s Branden Grace.
Grace made major championship history in the third round on Saturday when he became the first player ever to shoot a 62.