The hottest golfer on the planet kept his cool again this week, overcoming a mediocre front nine on Sunday to secure his fourth win of the season. Here’s a look at the numbers that made the difference.
Spieth didn’t three putt a single green this week and also ranked 35th in one putts through four rounds. Plus, he poured in three eagles, including one from 106 yards out on the par-5 17th on route to his career best 10-under 61 on Saturday.
The 21-year old is now the first player since Tiger Woods in 2000 to earn four wins in a season before teeing it up at The British Open. And with five wins in his career, he is now just one victory shy of tying Woods for the most PGA tour titles before age 22. Of course, Spieth’s birthday is July 23rd, so he’ll need a win at the Old Course to match Tiger’s youthful charm.
Spieth rallied late on Sunday, draining 56 feet worth of putts -- including a timely chip in -- over his last six holes, carding a 4-under finish to secure a spot in the playoff with 47-year old Tom Gillis. Starting on the 13th green, the Texan made a 23’3’’ putt for birdie, followed by a 5’1’’ roll for birdie on 14. He then chipped in from 21’1’’ for birdie on 16 and drained a 3’6’’ putt for his fourth birdie in five holes on 17. Add in his tap-in pars of 1’3’’ and 2’ on holes 15 and 18, and you have 56’ of some seriously clutch shot making.
Lots of folks were wary of Spieth’s decision to play the John Deere, mainly because no British Open winner has come from the Deere field since Todd Hamilton in 2004. But there’s something to be said for coming to the Old Course hot -- and confident. With four wins in his last 12 starts (not counting the WGC Cadillac Match Play), Spieth has either led or co-led in 11 of his last 32 rounds. And he’s been down right dominant at the Deere, winning twice in just four starts while posting an overall career score of 61-under par.