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Jordan Spieth's Keys to Victory at the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay

US Open 2015: Looking Forward to St. Andrews
Hosts Ryan Asselta, Jeff Ritter and Jessica Marksbury are joined by Sports Illustrated senior writer Gary Van Sickle as they preview The Open Championship at The Old Course at St. Andrews.

The 2015 U.S. Open may well be remembered for what went wrong for Dustin Johnson, but two-time major champ Jordan Spieth got several things right in winning at Chambers Bay.

126

Spieth rolled a total of 126 putts on route to his 5-under victory, the most by a U.S. Open winner since the stat was first tracked back in 1980. But while finishing dead last in such a key category might seem like nothing to brag about, it starts to look a whole lot better in light of Chambers Bay’s 8,700 square feet of putting greens, the most in Open history. Spieth was not only T-15 against the field in total putts, he was also best when it mattered most, getting up and down on eight of nine putts over 25 feet on Sunday and draining 16 of 18 final round rolls from inside ten feet.

18

Spieth was one of five players to top the field with a total of 18 birdies for the week. And once again, he was clutch down the stretch, carding four birdies on Sunday including a tourney clinching two putt on the 72nd hole. The young Texan also earned a spot in Open folklore, becoming the first player since Bobby Jones in 1926 to win the Open by a single stroke thanks to a birdie at the last.

11 of 17

Everybody knows you have to be patient to win the U.S. Open, but you also need to save par. And while Spieth was solid on his approaches all week, finishing T-5 in greens hit, he was even better when he missed, getting up and down 11 of 17 times from off the green to finish T-2 in scrambling.

6

At just 21 years, 10 months and 5 days old, Spieth has already carved out a spot alongside some of golf greatest names, joining Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Craig Wood, Ben Hogan and Tiger Woods as one of only six players to win the Masters and the U.S. Open in the same year. And that’s not his only historic milestone: Spieth is the youngest U.S. Open winner since Bobby Jones in 1923; he joins Tiger Woods as the only players since 1940 to win four times on the PGA Tour before turning 22; he’s the youngest player to claim his second major since Gene Sarazen won the 1922 PGA Championship at age 20. And he’s on a roll, having won 5 times in his last 18 starts.

1 for 6

Spieth may be in excellent company as one of six players to win the first two majors in the same year, but how will he fare at the next one? The 21-year old will look to one up fellow Texan Ben Hogan, who went three for three in ’53, but couldn’t complete the Slam as the PGA and the British Open were played at the same time that year. For a guy chasing golf history, is there any place better to be than St. Andrews?

YEAR   MASTERS/U.S. OPEN WINNER   BRITISH OPEN RESULT
1941 Craig Wood DNP
1951 Ben Hogan DNP
1953 Ben Hogan 1st
1960 Arnold Palmer 2nd
1972 Jack Nicklaus 2nd
2002 Tiger Woods T28
2015 Jordan Spieth TBD

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