Jordan Spieth is now one major away from a career grand slam after the 23-year-old defeated Matt Kuchar on the final day to secure his first Open Championship.
US golfer Jordan Spieth won the Open Championship for the first time after a thrilling final day that saw him come from behind to defeat fellow American Matt Kuchar.
Spieth went into the last day with a three-shot overnight lead, but bogeyed the 13th and fell behind, creating a tense final few hours at Royal Birkdale, Merseyside.
The 23-year-old rose to the occasion with a majestic run of birdie, eagle, birdie, birdie, before making par at the last to finish on 12 under, securing a spectacular three shot victory and hoisting the Claret Jug for the first time ever.
With his third major, the American has now won three of the four majors, with just the PGA Championship left to win in order to achieve a career grand slam.
How did Spieth do it?
Always hovering in or around the top five, Spieth has entered every tournament he’s been in for the last few years as one of the top contenders, though the Open had eluded him until this point.
Weather plagued play in the first two days, with regular rain showers and strong winds affecting the play of many top players.
Spieth was one of eight who achieved a sub-par round, closing round two at 1-under 69 to post 6-under 134, placing him 7 under for the Championship.
Matt Kuchar went into the third round second at 4-under, while Brooks Koepka was tied with Ian Poulter at 3-under. However, the third round saw the complexion of the tournament change drastically, with Rory MciLroy and Li Haotong rising up the scoreboards.
The Northern Irishman recorded a score of 68, 69 and 67 in the last three rounds to finish tied for fourth with Rafael Cabrera-Bello, while Haotong’s last three rounds of 73, 69 and 63 saw him finish in third position.
Kuchar’s scores of 66 and 69 in the final two rounds just weren’t enough to land a surprise victory, leaving the American still looking for that elusive first major championship.
It was a case of too little too late for McIlroy and Haotong, as their strong results in the final round were not enough to catch up with Kuchar or Spieth.
What can we expect at the PGA Championship?
As the penultimate major of the season, the Open provides a great insight into who could be top of the leaderboard at the year’s final event, the PGA Championship in Springfield, New Jersey.
Spieth has enjoyed a magnificent year and will be hoping to finish off the year in style by achieving a career grand slam, but other big names such as Dustin Johnson, Jason Day and Hideki Matsuyama cannot be ruled out.
McIlroy’s form in the final rounds of the Open could also point to the PGA Championship being his first major win since 2014.
However, the nature of golf always makes predictions difficult, with factors such as weather, form and confidence all having a massive effect on players.
In 2016, the PGA Championship was won by Jimmy Walker, who had a forgettable Open this year, finishing tied for 54th. Simply put, anyone can win it on the day!