Spieth takes Pebble Beach

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - DOUG FERGUSON

PEBBLE BEACH, CALIF. — Jor­dan Spieth kept it sim­ple Sunday and won the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am for the ninth PGA Tour ti­tle of his young ca­reer.

Spieth started with a six-shot lead and no one got closer than three all day. He putted for birdie on all but one hole and closed with a 2-un­der 70 for a four-shot vic­tory over for­mer U.S. Am­a­teur cham­pion Kelly Kraft, who shot 67.

U.S. Open cham­pion Dustin John­son shot 68 to fin­ish third.

The scenery was as spec­tac­u­lar as it gets on the Mon­terey Penin­sula. The fi­nal round was on the dull side, and that was just fine with Spieth. “That’s a dream round when you’re lead­ing by a bunch,” Spieth said.

It was his first 54-hole lead on the PGA Tour since the Masters, where he lost a five-shot lead on the back nine at Au­gusta Na­tional. The 23-year-old Texan ran off 14 straight pars un­til a 30-foot birdie on the par-3 17th. That al­lowed for an easy walk up the 18th, a clos­ing hole even more gor­geous with a four-shot lead.

Spieth’s only other birdie was on the par-5 se­cond when he twop­utted from 12 feet.

No one could put any pres­sure on him over the open­ing seven holes, which is where ral­lies be­gin at Pebble Beach.

Two-time Pebble Beach win­ner Brandt Snedeker, play­ing in the fi­nal group with Spieth, man­aged three birdies through six holes to get within four shots. But he nar­rowly missed birdie chances on the fifth and sev­enth holes, and he fell back with a bo­gey on the ninth. Snedeker closed with nine straight pars for a 70 to fin­ish fourth.

Nick Tay­lor of Ab­bots­ford, B.C., and Macken­zie Hughes of Dun­das, both shot a fi­nal round 71 to fin­ish the tour­na­ment at 8-un­der 279 and tied for 10th.

Ot­tawa’s Brad Fritsch (71) was 33rd while Adam Had­win (73) of Ab­bots­ford was 39th.

Kraft, a close friend of Spieth’s from Dal­las, ran off four straight birdies on the front nine, and his birdie at No. 11 got him to within three shots. His last hope was miss­ing an 8-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole.

Spieth said cad­die Michael Greller told him on ev­ery tee, “Keep play­ing bor­ing golf.”

“I don’t like bor­ing golf,” he said. “But that’s what was needed to­day.”

He played the fi­nal 28 holes with­out a bo­gey.

Spieth be­came the sev­enth straight PGA Tour win­ner in his 20s, and he got back into the hunt for No. 1.

He had fallen far enough be­hind that even by beat­ing a strong field at Pebble Beach, it will not move him from No. 6.

But he goes to Riviera next week with a chance to reach as high as No. 2. John­son, with this third­place fin­ish, could go to No. 1 by win­ning at Riviera.

The spot now be­longs to Ja­son Day, who shared the 36-hole lead at Pebble Beach and fell 10 shots be­hind with a 75 on Satur­day. Day bounced back with a 67 to tie for fifth with Gary Wood­land (65) and Tor­rey Pines win­ner Jon Rahm (68). Spieth now has four top 10s in his four starts this year.


Jor­dan Spieth at Pebble Beach. Play “bor­ing golf” his cad­die told him. And he did, to en­sure a win.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.