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Spieth does Spieth things, wins 146th Open

(Photo: Getty Images)
It was only a throwaway line but Daniel Berger might have summed up the riddle that is newly crowned Open champion Jordan Spieth better than any professional analyst.

“Jordan,” Berger lamented last month after his fellow 20-something stole the Travelers Championship from under his nose with a holed bunker shot in extra time, “does Jordan things.”

Jordan did Jordan things at Royal Birkdale, too, channeling Jean van de Velde, Seve Ballesteros and Tiger Woods in equal measure to conjure up a ludicrous final five holes and a third major title in what can only be described as an adventurous final round.

Dramatic doesn’t come close to relaying Spieth’s Sunday at the 146th Open Championship, a day that started with three bogeys in his first four holes to cough up a three-shot lead and ended with a 5-under run in the last five holes to win by the same margin.

Jordan doing Jordan things.

In between was one of the wildest rides imaginable, highlighted by the 13th hole where Spieth took just shy of 30 minutes to record a five that would have made Seve Ballesteros blush.

After a tee shot so wild he was forced to take an unplayable and drop on the practice fairway, Spieth looked on track for a double bogey at best.

When his third finished short of a greenside bunker leaving a seemingly impossible pitch, that six looked optimistic.

But Spieth somehow conjured up a shot that finished within six feet of the hole then, of course, made the putt to limit the damage. Just Jordan doing Jordan things.

Brilliant as the bogey was, however, Spieth still fell a shot behind playing partner Matt Kuchar who could do nothing but watch and wait as the drama unfolded.

While most would have been rattled by the adventure he had just endured, Spieth was apparently unaffected as evidenced by events at the par-3 next.

After Kuchar found the green to apply some pressure, Jordan again did Jordan things, producing a shot that ran within inches of the cup and finished less than six feet away.

Of course, he went on to make the putt to grab back a share of the lead and somehow, incredibly, had wrestled back the momentum.

The best was yet to come, however, as both players hit good drives at the par-5 15th leaving Kuchar to hit first.

Seven times a winner on the PGA Tour, Kuchar is no slouch but watched his approach with a fairway metal was swept into a bunker just short of the green.

Spieth then launched his own fairway wood shot, one that skirted the same bunker and came to rest some 30 feet from the hole.

In keeping with the theme, Jordan again did Jordan things and holed the putt for eagle and despite Kuchar making an excellent up and down from the sand for birdie, Spieth went from one behind some 20 minutes earlier to one ahead and now looking the man most likely.

His birdie at 16 to go two ahead came from long range as well and as he stood over his short third shot to the par-5 17th, he produced his final Jordan moment of the day.

Now fully in control of the tournament, it took an outside agency to interrupt his flow, Spieth doing his best Tiger Woods impersonation as he stopped midway through his downswing when a camera clicked at the wrong time.

He regrouped, pitched close, made the birdie and took a two-shot cushion to the final hole where his par to Kuchar’s bogey increased the margin to three.

It was the most remarkable example yet of Spieth’s ability to find a way to get the job done regardless of circumstance and further cements his place in the history books.

The Open is the third leg of the Grand Slam for Spieth who now needs only a PGA title to complete the set.

For a full wrap of the Australians at Royal Birkdale, click here.


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