x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Teen Jordan Spieth wins John Deere Classic on fifth play-off hole

The 19-year-old two-time US Junior Amateur champion becomes youngest winner of PGA Tour event since 1931.

Jordan Spieth has become the youngest PGA Tour winner since 1931.
Jordan Spieth has become the youngest PGA Tour winner since 1931.

Teenager Jordan Spieth joined a play-off by holing out from a bunker on the last hole then won the John Deere Classic on the fifth hole of sudden-death on Sunday to become the youngest player to win on the PGA Tour since 1931.

The 19-year-old Spieth tapped in for par on the 18th hole to beat 2007 Masters champion Zach Johnson, who won last year, and Canadian David Hearn after the trio finished the regulation 72 holes tied at 19 under par at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Illinois.

Spieth, a two-time US Junior Amateur champion who began the round six shots off the pace, shot a final-round 65 and with his precocious victory won a spot in next week's British Open, an invitation to the 2014 Masters and membership on the tour.

Playing on special temporary member status for his play in select events this year, which included five top-10s, Spieth put himself in position for something special when his greenside bunker shot on the 72nd hole took one hop, hit the stick and dropped into the cup for birdie.

That put him at 19 under par. Johnson came to the 18th holding a one-shot lead and looked poised to repeat as champion and notch his 10th tour title.

But Johnson bogeyed the hole and the trio began a playoff in which all three players squandered chances to win.

The former Masters champion lipped out a chip for birdie on the first extra hole and grazed the edge on another potential birdie putt.

Hearn, like Spieth also looking for his first tour title, twice had putts of about 10 feet, but missed, and Spieth had a 25-footer for a winning birdie on the first extra hole that died just short.

On the decisive hole, all three pushed their tee shots into the right rough, with Hearn having to thread a shot through a tight gap of trees and Johnson virtually stymied behind an oak.

Hearn came out short of the green, while Johnson deflected off a tree and into the water hugging the left side of the hole.

Spieth, who had the best lie of the trio, punched out of the rough and ran the ball to the fringe in back of the green, from where he two-putted for the winning par.

At 18-under-par, one stroke away from joining the play-off, were Martin Flores (63), Jerry Kelly (68) and overnight leader Daniel Summerhays (72), who overcame a string of four successive bogeys from the fifth hole.

Summerhays fought his way back into contention but failed to make the play-offs when he bogeyed the last after a brutal lie in a greenside bunker.


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