Jordan Spieth holes unreal bunker shot to win Travelers in playoff

June 25 (Reuters) – Jordan Spieth holed a bunker shot to win the Travelers Championship in a playoff on Sunday and become the second youngest player in the modern era behind Tiger Woods to post 10 PGA Tour victories.

 

In a finale that would have done Woods proud, Spieth sank his 60-foot sand shot at the first extra hole for birdie to edge fellow American Daniel Berger at TPC River Highlands.

The precise execution enabled Spieth to overcome a back nine meltdown in which he putted poorly and almost allowed fast-finishing Berger to steal victory.

Spieth carded a closing 70 to Berger’s 67, the pair finishing at 12-under-par 268, two strokes ahead of compatriot Charley Hoffman and New Zealander Danny Lee.

“For the bunker shot to go in, that was awesome. I don’t know if I’ll ever have a moment like that again,” an excited Spieth said in a greenside interview after clinching his 10th victory at the age of 23 years, 10 months and 29 days.

Woods was the youngest since detailed records began in 1983 to reach 10 victories. He was 23 years, six months and four days when he posted the milestone.

A flair for the dramatic is nothing new for Spieth, who also holed a bunker shot for his first victory at the 2013 John Deere Classic.

“It’s incredible. It feels like we’ve been out here for a long time but it’s only been four years,” he said.

 “At least this one had good speed going in. I’ve always taken some crap from my peers about the John Deere one potentially going off the green or in the water.

“I feel very fortunate to play golf for a living. That was my dream growing up. To live for these moments and produce moments like that, I feel very lucky, very blessed.”

The former world number one did not feel so blessed after missing two putts from inside four feet on the back nine to almost fritter away what had looked like being a comfortable victory. He then struck a tree with his drive in the playoff, only to get a fortuitous bounce.

“It was a battle,” he said. “That putter let me down a little for most of the round. I felt more comfortable in the bunker than from four feet (and) I got really lucky to hit the tree and have it go in the fairway.”

The playoff loss deprived 24-year-old Berger of a second victory in three starts, having won the St. Jude Classic two weeks ago.

“I played great today so I’m not going to be too upset,” said Berger, who sportingly gave Spieth a thumbs-up gesture when his rival holed the winning bunker shot.

“It’s just Jordan doing Jordan things.” (Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Ken Ferris / Ian Ransom)

Horschel uses wood after accidentally breaking putter

Billy Horschel had to get a little creative during the opening round of the FedEx St. Jude Classic after a flip of the club left his putter in pieces.

Horschel barely missed a 20-foot birdie putt on the eighth hole at TPC Southwind, and he reacted as many pros do: by casually tossing his club in the air in disbelief. Unfortunately for Horschel, the head of his putter snapped off when the club hit the ground.

Because the break did not occur “during the normal course of play,” Horschel was not allowed to replace his putter.

The silver lining was that the hole in question was his 17th of the day. He had only an 18-inch par putt left on No. 8, and he used a fairway wood to tap it in and again on the par-4 ninth, where he successfully two-“putted” from over 50 feet:

The scene was reminiscent of one during the 2015 Greenbrier Classic, when Robert Streb made it into a playoff despite using his wedge to putt for much of the final round.

Horschel, who returned to the winner’s circle last month when he defeated Jason Day in a playoff at the AT&T Byron Nelson, signed for a 2-over 72 that left him eight shots behind his friend and fellow Florida Gator, Matt Every, as the early wave came to a close in Memphis.

Source: golfchannel.com