SPI­ETH PULLS THROUGH IN DRA­MATIC OPEN WIN

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT -

SOUTH­PORT, Eng­land: Jor­dan Spi­eth sur­vived a roller-coaster fi­nal round at the Bri­tish Open to emerge with his third Ma­jor ti­tle, beat­ing fel­low Amer­i­can Matt Kuchar by three strokes in a thrilling duel at Royal Birk­dale yes­ter­day. Spi­eth carded a one-un­der-par round of 69 to fin­ish on 12-un­der for the tour­na­ment but, af­ter three days of con­sis­tent golf by the Amer­i­can, it was a re­mark­able day of highs and lows for the 23-yearold. The Texan be­gan the day with a three-stroke lead but saw that evap­o­rate on the front nine, where he made four bo­geys and a birdie to en­ter the turn shar­ing the lead with Kuchar on eight-un­der. The drama be­gan when Spi­eth drove wildly into the dunes on the 13th hole. He was forced to take a penalty stroke af­ter deem­ing the ball ‘un­playable’ and af­ter some con­fu­sion and a lengthy series of de­lib­er­a­tions, he played his sec­ond shot from the edge of the prac­tice range next to the TV trucks. Spi­eth scram­bled to make a cred­itable bo­gey out of the par­four hole but that still handed the lead to Kuchar, who was play­ing the more solid golf. How­ever, the sight of his ri­val alone at the top of the leader­board ap­peared to click a switch in Spi­eth, who re­sponded with a birdie on the par-three 14th, where he was close to a hole-in-one. Spi­eth then bril­liantly sank a 45-yard putt to ea­gle the par-five 15th and fol­lowed that with two more birdies on the 16th and 17th. Spi­eth, who won the Mas­ters and US Open in 2015, has joined Jack Nick­laus to be­come one of only two play­ers to win three legs of the ca­reer Grand Slam be­fore turn­ing 24. – Reuters

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