Washington: Masters champion Jordan Spieth added another chapter to golf’s record books with a nerve-jangling, one-shot victory at the United States Open on Sunday after a wildly fluctuating final round of high drama. Spieth’s performance this year has ignited comparisons to Woods, who also won both the Masters and USA Open in 2002.
Spieth, who stunned the golf world with a wire-to-wire victory by four shots at the Masters in April, became the youngest player to win back-to-back majors since Gene Sarazen in 1922 (U.S. Open and PGA Championship).
The greats of the game – Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Tiger Woods – have all tried and failed to achieve that feat.
The long-hitting Johnson, who many believe is overdue for a major title, fired an even-par 70 to finish at four-under 276, one stroke behind fellow American and now two-time major victor Spieth.
Playing in the final pairing, Johnson reached the par-5 18 green in two and had a 12-foot eagle putt to win.
Johnson had the opportunity to draw level after Spieth’s nightmare on the 17 where he found a birdie but agonisingly three-putted from 12 feet on the final hole. The 21-year-old Texan heads to St. Andrews next month in pursuit of golf’s holy grail-the Grand Slam.
Spieth and Greller teamed again at the 2012 USA Open, and Spieth wound up tied for 21st – the lowest-scoring amateur at Olympic Club in San Francisco. All eyes will be on the kid from Dallas. So I know what it takes to get it done, it’s real simple.
“My eyes were wide, and he was silent as well”, Spieth said.
McIlroy finished strongly at the USA Open with a closing 66 that got him to even par, and he pronounced his ball-striking as good as ever in a major.
It was Spieth who salvaged this Open, making it one to remember for all the right reasons instead of the wrong. But I felt like I needed eagle to tie.
All the talk is of a rivalry between the two young guns that will light up golf for the forseeable future, although Spieth says he doesn’t yet consider himself to be in the same elevated bracket as the Northern Irishman.
“I just wanted a fighting chance tomorrow”.
Spieth and Woods are now the only players since 1940 to win four times on the PGA Tour before their 22nd birthday.
“I’m still amazed that I won”. I had all the chances in the world.
Just to get in position for a chance to win, Johnson needed a birdie on No. 17 and two attractive shots to traverse the first 600 yards of No. 18. Speaking to ESPN before the tournament, Greller claimed to have caddied around the course at least 40 times when he worked there. I’ve worked hard the last couple of weeks but I haven’t been out here in five years.
“I thought that I had won it on 16”, Spieth said. “McIlroy has four majors and dozens of wins, and I’m just starting out”.
“To win this tournament on Father’s Day, I just hope my dad’s proud of me”, he said.
“We just sat there”, Greller said.
Day instantly became the crowd favourite after a frightening vertigo attack near the end of his second round that caused him to collapse in front of the ninth hole grandstand.
“I could have easily had a awful Friday and watched this on television”, he said.
“As you can tell, it’s very hard to get them in the hole out there”, Johnson said.