Jordan Spieth has holed a 60-foot bunker shot for birdie to win the Travelers Championship on the first hole of a sudden death play-off with fellow American Daniel Berger
For 18 holes of the final round it had been an ordinary day at the office for Spieth. Three bogies, offset by three birdies, had signing for an even par 70 and a 12 under total.
He was matched by Berger, who stormed to 12 under with three back nine birdies and was easily the favourite to take the title as he headed back to the 18th tee of the TPC River Highlands course for the play-off.
That favouritism only grew as Spieth missed the putting surface with his long approach and found a deep bunker short and right of the flag. Berger’s looked to be in control as his second shot found the green, despite leaving a long putt.
But Spieth turned the tide in a flash.
He splashed the ball out of the sand and, from 10 feet away, the ball tracked straight into the hole. The moment was not lost on Spieth, who went wild – tossing his wedge out of the bunker and giving caddie, Michael Greller, a running chest bump in celebration.
Berger was unable to hole his putt from 50 feet and the win was Spieth’s.
"That was one for the ages," said Spieth, who also won the AT&T at Pebble Beach earlier this year.
"If I was in Berger's shoes, I’d be cursing Jordan Spieth right now for the break off the tee and then holing a 30-yard bunker shot, that's a lot of luck."
Spieth opened his final round with two ‘regulation’ birdies from close range.
But he rode his luck for much of the day with wayward shots avoiding trouble and crucial putts finding the bottom of the cup.
He dodged a bullet on the 13th when his drive got stuck on the side of a hill and stayed out of the water. He missed the birdie putt from seven feet but made his par. Two holes later, his tee shot just skirted the water and he chipped to the middle of the green and made his 16-footer for birdie. On the 17th hole, his approach shot looked to be heading into the greenside lake but his ball stayed dry and he made par.
"That's a lot of luck," Spieth said. "But I took advantage of the good breaks and am happy to come out on top."
Berger, understandably, appeared a little shell-shocked after the play-off.
"Jordan does Jordan things," he said. "So there's not really much you can say. I'm obviously disappointed, but happy to be in the position I was in today."
Spieth, the World No.6 heading into the Travelers Championship, is likely to move back to No.5 after this victory.
Marc Leishman, a former champion in this event, was the best of the Australians shooting four sub-par rounds to grab a share of 17th. His closing one under 69 moved him to six under and the leading Australian position by seven shots, ahead of Greg Chalmers.
Of some concern is the form of World No.4 Jason Day, who had rounds of 72-70 to miss the halfway cut by two shots.