Sports

Spieth beats Cantlay with playoff bunker shot to 7 inches


HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (AP) — Thinking he might need an opportunity for a playoff, Jordan Spieth rolled in a 10-foot birdie on the 18th gap in regulation. He made a good greater shot at Habour Town’s signature gap in a playoff to win the RBC Heritage.

Spieth’s 56-foot shot from a greenside bunker stopped 7 inches away and he beat Patrick Cantlay with a tap-in par Sunday on the lighthouse gap for his thirteenth profession PGA Tour title — and second straight on Easter Sunday.

Sometimes, Spieth stated, there’s a event the place you are feeling you’ve performed properly, but not adequate to win. “I honestly felt like this was that week,” he stated with a smile. “I needed a lot of things to go right.”

And he acquired all of them.

Spieth, at 13 below after his 5-under 66, completed 4 teams forward of Cantlay and waited out the stellar discipline that had a number of possibilities to tie or transfer in entrance. But all besides Cantlay couldn’t chase down Spieth, who stayed away from watching an excessive amount of of the motion as soon as he completed.

“Every single putt looks like it’s going in,” Spieth stated. “It was way more nerve-racking than actually playing.”

Spieth was sure he’d get handed by Cantlay, the FedEx Cup champion; previous British Open winner Shane Lowry or third-round chief Harold Varner III. When all three parred the par-5, fifteenth, the very best probability for birdie on the again 9, Spieth felt his possibilities enhance.

When Spieth completed, he was a stroke behind Shane Lowry. But Lowry’s chip on the par-3 14th raced throughout the inexperienced and into the water, resulting in double bogey. He completed a stroke again after a 69.

After Cantlay, tied for the lead after a birdie on the seventeenth, hit his method on the inexperienced on his closing gap of regulation, Spieth headed out to loosen up, sure he’d be referred to as again after Cantley made the successful putt.

Instead, Cantlay slid it by proper to arrange the playoff.

In the playoff, Cantlay additionally hit into the entrance bunker, along with his lie trying like a fried egg. He blasted 35 ft previous the cup and missed the par putt.

Cantlay was 179 yards from the opening within the playoff and used a 9-iron as he did a short while earlier in regulation. This shot, got here up wanting the inexperienced and in an terrible place.

“Obviously, with it plugged like that, it’s darn near impossible to get it close,” Cantlay stated.

Three strokes behind Varner coming into the spherical, Spieth eagled each front-nine par 5s to get into the combination.

Spieth had gained his final occasion, the Valero Texas Open, on Easter to finish a four-year winless drought.

Next Easter Sunday? The ultimate spherical of the Masters.

“That’s good vibes,” stated Spieth, a three-time main champion.

Jordan Spieth celebrates from the entrance bunker after chipping in on the 18th gap throughout the ultimate spherical of the RBC Heritage golf event, Sunday, April 17, 2022, in Hilton Head Island, S.C. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)

Cam Davis (63) additionally was a stroke again with Varner (70), J.T. Poston (64), Cameron Young (66), Sepp Straka (68), Matt Kuchar (68).

Spieth has gained from the bunker earlier than. He beat Daniel Berger with greenside bunker shot on first further gap on the 2017 Travelers Championship.

Others apart from Cantlay, who missed a 15-footer for birdie on his 72nd gap, had an opportunity to catch Spieth. Straka tied Spieth at 13 below with a birdie on the seventeenth, then bogeyed the ultimate gap after his method discovered some gnarly lengthy grass in entrance of the inexperienced. Varner had birdie possibilities on every of his final 4 holes, but couldn’t convert any of them.

Spieth took off with the early eagles. On the second gap, he holed out from a greenside bunker. On the fifth gap, he reached the inexperienced in two and rolled in a 24-footer because the gallery erupted in cheers.

Spieth reached 13 below with a birdie on the eighth earlier than falling again to 11 below with bogeys on the ninth and eleventh. He moved into hanging place with a birdie on the thirteenth, then struck his method to the drama-filled lighthouse gap to 10 ft and posted at 13 below.

He got here on this week bothered about lacking the reduce final week at Augusta National. “I hated it,” he stated. “It was the worst feeling. It was the worst feeling as a golfer than I can remember.”

That rotated at Harbour Town in entrance a cheerful, sold-out crowd that Spieth stated was four-deep throughout his pro-am spherical Wednesday.

“I was actually very surprised by the amount of support that everyone had this week, and I felt a lot of it personally,” Spieth stated. “These crowds were just fantastic for it being a non-major.”

Spieth had solely performed the event thrice since 2015 as a result of it falls after the at all times grueling Masters week.

“What a great tournament to win,” Spieth stated. “It’s an amazing golf course.”

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