19-year-old Jordan Spieth came through a playoff against Zach Johnson and David Hearn to win the John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run in Illinois.
Spieth is the first teenager to win on the PGA Tour since Ralph Guldahl claimed the Santa Monica Open back in 1931. With the win, he’s earned full status on the PGA Tour and a place in this week’s Open Championship at Muirfield.
The youngster, who only turned pro last December, began the final round six shots behind Daniel Summerhays, but he clawed his way back into contention with an excellent closing 65. With Summerhays faltering, it proved to be enough to end regulation play in a tie on top of the leaderboard with defending champion Zach Jonson, and David Hearn of Canada.
Spieth might have come up just short, had he not played a miraculous shot on the 72nd hole. Finding sand with his second on the home hole, he faced a tricky bunker shot. He splashed out, the ball bounced a couple of times towards the flag, struck the stick and dropped into the cup.
Despite the effort, it seemed Spieth would come up just shy, as Zach Johnson looked to have the tournament under control mid-way through the round. But, the birdies dried up for the former Masters champion, and a bogey on the closing hole saw him drop back into a tie at the top.
Extra holes were needed to separate Spieth, Johnson and David Hearn, who closed with a 68. On the first four playoff holes, all three men made pars. Hearn might have won it at the fourth sudden-death hole when he missed a makeable putt, and Johnson almost chipped in on the first for the victory.
All three players went right from the tee on the fifth playoff hole, and only Spieth could scramble par from there to claim his first PGA Tour title.
“Just got so lucky. That’s what it is. But right now I’m extremely pleased, and a little worried about only having short sleeves going to Scotland,” Spieth said.
John Deere Classic
TPC Deere Run, Silvis, Illinois
Jul 11-14, purse $4,600,000 par 71
1 Jordan Spieth (USA) 70 65 65 65 265 $828,000
T2 David Hearn (Can) 66 66 64 69 265 $404,800
T2 Zach Johnson (USA) 64 66 67 68 265 $404,800
T4 Martin Flores (USA) 67 67 69 63 266 $190,133
T4 Jerry Kelly (USA) 68 64 66 68 266 $190,133
T4 Daniel Summerhays (USA) 65 67 62 72 266 $190,133
T7 Matt Jones (Aus) 66 65 68 68 267 $143,367
T7 Patrick Reed (USA) 67 63 70 67 267 $143,367
T7 J.J. Henry (USA) 68 65 65 69 267 $143,367
T10 Jim Herman (USA) 66 68 67 67 268 $119,600
T10 Steve Stricker (USA) 67 66 69 66 268 $119,600
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage
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