Jordan Spieth turned a possible main meltdown into one of the vital extraordinary victories in Open Championship historical past at Royal Birkdale.
Three photographs away from Matt Kuchar heading into the ultimate spherical, Spieth bogeyed three of the primary 4 holes to see his in a single day benefit worn out within the house of 48 minutes.
And the 23-year-old then dropped out of the lead for the primary time in two days with a bogey on the 13th, which concerned a 20-minute ruling and which noticed him taking part in his third shot from the follow floor.
That evoked recollections of his dramatic collapse within the 2016 Masters when, as defending champion, he squandered a five-shot lead with simply 9 holes to play.
Nevertheless, Spieth then virtually holed his tee shot to the par-three 14th to arrange a tap-in birdie, earlier than holing from 45 toes for eagle on the par-five 15th.
A shell-shocked Kuchar made birdie there to fall only one behind, just for Spieth to gap from lengthy vary for birdie on the 16th and observe the previous in for an additional on the par-five 17th.
Par on the final accomplished a outstanding closing 69 – Spieth’s fourth sub-70 spherical of the week – and a 12-under-par complete of 268, three photographs forward of the unlucky Kuchar, who additionally shot 69 after a bogey on the final.
The victory means Spieth joins Jack Nicklaus in changing into considered one of simply two gamers to win three majors earlier than the age of 24 and he can surpass Tiger Woods because the youngest winner of a profession grand slam by claiming subsequent month’s US PGA at Quail Hole.
Kuchar had the comfort of his greatest end in 47 main appearances, with China’s Li Haotong three photographs additional again in third after equalling the bottom remaining spherical in main historical past with a closing 63.
4-time main winner Rory McIlroy completed in a tie for fourth on 5 underneath with Scottish Open winner Rafa Cabrera Bello, with England’s Matthew Southgate a stroke additional again alongside Brooks Koepka, Branden Grace, Alex Noren and Marc Leishman.
Southgate, who spent the week of the 2015 Open receiving therapy for testicular most cancers, completed 12th at Royal Troon final 12 months and made positive of an excellent higher end with a closing 65.