Now three-time Major champion had to play shot from next to lorries on driving range but went on to claim Claret Jug in style at Birkdale
JORDAN SPIETH won the Open after a back-nine birdie blitz saved him from his practice ground horror show.
The now three-time Major champion played a shot from next to some lorries on the driving range following a wild drive on the par-four 13th.
But a clutch bogey putt there came before a blistering birdie-eagle-birdie-birdie run from the 14th to seal a three-shot win over fellow American Matt Kuchar on 12 under.
And it means the 23 year old is picking off Majors at a rate faster than Tiger Woods as he is now just the second person after Jack Nicklaus to win three legs of the career Grand Slam before the age of 24.
Spieth’s drive off the 13th was around 100 yards from the fairway and he took a penalty drop from an unplayable lie.
The rules allowed him to go back to the driving range, where, some 20 minutes after his tee shot, he lashed a three iron just short of the green from next to some equipment trucks and got up and down.
He then nearly holed his tee shot on the par three 14th, drained a monster eagle putt on the 15th and added further birdies at 16 and 17.
Spieth’s celebration on the 15th will go down in history.
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Once the 50ft monster hit the bottom of the cup he looked at his caddie and pointed to the hole saying: “Go get that.”
And Spieth, who becomes the youngest man to win the Open since a 22-year-old Seve Ballesteros in 1979, said afterwards: “Boy, it feels good having this in my hands. What a battle.”
But it looked like his Augusta collapse from last year was going to happen again when he fell to four over for his round after the chaos on the 13th.
Prior to that bogeys on the first, third and and fourth came before a birdie on the fifth and another dropped shot on the ninth.
But he regrouped with help from his caddie Michael Greller and now he goes to next month’s US PGA Championship looking to become just the sixth player in history to have won all four Majors.
Spieth said: “My last goal now is to try and complete a career Grand Slam. This is a very special tournament. I’ve had one wrapped up and didn’t quite close and those thoughts start to come into your head.”
China’s Haotong Li finished third after a dazzling 63 left him six under while Rory McIlroy and Rafa Cabrera-Bello shared fourth on five under.
Matthew Southgate was top Englishman thanks to a closing five-under 65 and Paul Casey just missed out on a top ten spot by finishing a shot further back.
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