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The Open 2017, fourth round at Royal Birkdale

The Open 2017, fourth round at Royal Birkdale

The Texan finished -12 at Royal Birkdale, two shots ahead of Matt Kuchar who was the only player to put up a serious challenge on the final day of action.

On that basis, Jordan Spieth will be remembered as the "practice ground champion" for the way the young American got his hands on the Claret Jug for the first time a few miles down the Lancashire coast at Royal Birkdale. His hopes would have grown further as there was even worse to come on the 13th for Spieth. But he managed to salvage a bogey that changed the course of the round once again.

Spieth would later say that he did not want to go back to the tee because a shot from there would be no closer to the hole and thus would have ultimately cost him two strokes - one for the drop and one for hitting the tee shot just to get back to the same distance he was at with the unplayable lie.

Spieth closed with a one-under-par 69 for a 72-hole total of 268, three strokes better than the runner-up, his fellow American Matt Kuchar.

"I walked up there and tried to do the yardage in my head, and thought I was somewhere around 270 to the front and Michael was like, 'Buddy, you're 230 to the front, ' somewhere around there", Spieth said.

"Drank some wine out of this when Zach Johnson won it", he said, per Jason Sobel of ESPN.com. "I started to believe them".

In adding the Open crown to his 2015 Masters and US Open triumphs, Spieth joins the legendary Jack Nicklaus as only the second player to have won three of golf's four majors before the age of 24.




After the bogey on 13, which Greller said was the greatest bogey his boss ever made "by a mile", Spieth almost made an ace on 14, made eagle from 40 feet on 15, dropped a 25-footer for birdie on the 16th, then matched Kuchar's birdie on the 17th from 10 feet.

Producing his best shot of the day, he set himself up for a six foot birdie before landing a stunning 15-foot putt that sealed an eagle and pushed him back to 10-under.

Spieth saw his three-shot overnight lead reduced to nothing after bogeying three of the first four holes of his final round. Putting and injuries have been major issues for the four-time major champion this year, but he seems to be peaking.

According to the Superbook, The Open Championship has become a two horse race with Spieth's biggest challenger being his playing partner, Sunday in Kuchar.

Earlier in the tournament, South African Branden Grace broke the record for lowest score ever in a men's major championship - a 62.

Rory McIlroy - Often beleaguered by fans and past Tour pros alike, McIlroy shook off the criticism for his recent major championship rut to finish t-4 at 5 under. Surprisingly, Spieth finished the third round bogey free with five birdies.

Kuchar is looking for his first major championship title. "I had a couple of good breaks, but I don't know how I shot 1-under today".


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