Spieth builds Open momentum with PGA playoff win
Silvis (USA): Reigning Masters and US Open champion Jordan Spieth defeated Tom Gillis on the second playoff hole to capture the John Deere Classic, the final US PGA tuneup for next week’s British Open.
Coming off his second John Deere title in three years will give Spieth an extra spring in his step as the world number two tries to continue his run at history at St. Andrews, where Spieth could become the first man since 1953 to win the first three golf majors of the year.
The 21-year-old American parred the second playoff hole while Gillis missed the fairway with his tee shot and then found the water on his second shot at the TPC Deere Run.
“It feels great,” said Spieth, who also won in a playoff in 2013. “The memories we have here and to go back in a playoff and we were reliving some of the conversations.
“Not the best start, but I am certainly OK with the outcome.”
Spieth closed with a three-under par 68 to equal Gillis at 20-under-par 264. Gillis, who was three groups ahead of Spieth, fired a 64.
Once again, Spieth showed his flair for the dramatic as he rallied from eight shots off the lead after round one to earn his fourth US PGA victory of the season and the fifth of his career.
Spieth came back from six shots back here in 2013 for his first career win, becoming the first teen to win on the US tour in 83 years.
Spieth was criticized for playing the John Deere this week instead of heading to Europe to prepare for the Open, but it appears he made the right move as he aims to join Ben Hogan as the only players to win the first three majors of a season.
“I just needed to get some more repetitions,” said Spieth. “I practiced with my coach last week but didn’t play much golf.
“The pro-am (at the John Deere) was a little rough and so was the first round. But then I started hitting the ball more solidly and started making some putts.”
Spieth is now just one win short of tying Tiger Woods for the most wins on the PGA Tour before the age of 22.