Spieth wins US Open, Oosthuizen second, Grace fourth

Jordan Spieth © Gallo Images
Jordan Spieth © Gallo Images

Masters champion Jordan Spieth added another chapter to golf’s record books with a nerve-jangling, one-shot victory at the US Open on Sunday after a wildly fluctuating final round of high drama.

The American young gun sank a curling 28-footer to birdie the 16th and forge three ahead, then shrugged off a double-bogey at the 17th before becoming just the sixth player to slip into a green jacket and hoist the US Open trophy in the same year.

Though Spieth birdied the par-five last to close with a one-under-par 69, he then had to watch as fellow American Dustin Johnson, in the final pairing, had a 12-foot eagle putt to win it at the 18th.

Brandon Grace was in contention until he missed a birdie putt on the 17'th.  Hitting his t-shot out of bounds on the 18'th didn't help either.
Brandon Grace was in contention until he missed a birdie putt on the 17’th. Hitting his t-shot out of bounds on the 16’th didn’t help either.

Johnson’s putt slid past the cup and he missed a four-foot birdie putt coming back to squander the chance of forcing an 18-hole playoff on Monday at Chambers Bay.

Louis Oosthuizen finished 66, 66. 67 but was left to rue his opening round 77.
Louis Oosthuizen finished 66, 66. 67 but was left to rue his opening round 77.

The 21-year-old Spieth posted a five-under total of 275 on a challenging links-style layout that firmed up under a baking sun as he became the youngest winner of the US Open since Bobby Jones in 1923.

“I’m in shock,” Spieth told broadcaster FOX. “Wow. I watched it with (caddie) Michael (Greller) in there.

“I just wanted a fighting chance tomorrow. I feel bad for Dustin. I had that feeling on 17. I’m just proud of the way we rebounded on 18.”

Asked how he had rebounded from his double at the par-three 17th where he pushed his tee shot way right, Spieth replied: “I was happy 18 was a par-five first and foremost, and I put a drive right where I wanted to.

“I got a nice little bounce off the side and two-putts later … I didn’t think it was good enough but I couldn’t be more happy right now.”

Spieth, who stunned the golf world with a wire-to-wire victory by four shots at the Masters in April, became the youngest player to win back-to-back majors since Gene Sarazen in 1922 (US Open and PGA Championship).

Johnson, seeking his first major crown, had to settle for a share of second place with South African Louis Oosthuizen, who sensationally birdied six of the last seven holes, including five in a row from the 12th, for a 67.

FURTHER HEARTBREAK

It was further major heartbreak for the big-hitting Johnson, a nine-time winner on the PGA Tour who came desperately close in his title runs at the US Open and PGA Championship in 2010.

South African Branden Grace, whose victory hopes evaporated with a double-bogey at the 16th, where his tee shot ended up out-of-bounds, closed with a 71 to share fourth place at three under with Australians Adam Scott(64) and Cameron Smith (68).

Johnson, one of four players tied for the lead overnight in the year’s second major, appeared to have the title within his grasp when he moved two strokes clear at the turn on a picture-postcard afternoon in the PacificNorthwest.

However, Johnson lost his way with bogeys at the 10th, 11th and 13th, leaving playing partners Spieth and Grace effectively duelling for the lead.

Spieth then benefited from a three-shot swing at the 16th, after he sank a left-to-right breaking birdie putt from 28 feet and the South African ran up his double, before further drama unfolded over the last two holes.

World No 1 Rory McIlroy had earlier sent a tremor of excitement across the course as he racked up six birdies in his first 13 holes to reach two under for the tournament, just two off the lead.

The Northern Irishman drained a curling 70-footer at the par-four 13th to spark thunderous roars from the grandstands but bogeyed the 15th and 17th on the way to 66, and a tie for ninth at level-par.

“I hit some good shots early on, made some nice putts and just got a little bit of momentum going there,” McIlroy, who won the 2011 US Open at Congressional by eight shots, told reporters.

“I feel like it’s sort of one that got away, especially the way I putted this week. I don’t think I’ve ever hit the ball as well in a major championship.”

Low scoring was plentiful, especially for the early starters, on a par-70 layout made more receptive by overnight watering and a set up at its shortest yardage of the week.

The links-style venue became the longest course to stage a US Open when set up at 7 695 yards for the second round, but was cut back to 7 384 yards for the final round.

FINAL SCORES

275 – Jordan Spieth (U.S.) 68 67 71 69

276Louis Oosthuizen (South Africa) 77 66 66 67 , Dustin Johnson (U.S.) 65 71 70 70

277 – Adam Scott (Australia) 70 71 72 64, Cameron Smith (Australia) 70 70 69 68, Branden Grace (South Africa) 69 67 70 71

278Charl Schwartzel (South Africa) 73 70 69 66

279 – Brandt Snedeker (U.S.) 69 72 70 68

280 – Rory McIlroy (Britain) 72 72 70 66, Jason Day (Australia) 68 70 68 74, Shane Lowry (Ireland) 69 70 70 71

281 – Kevin Kisner (U.S.) 71 68 73 69, Matt Kuchar (U.S.) 67 73 72 69

282 – Patrick Reed (U.S.) 66 69 76 71, John Senden (Australia) 72 72 70 68, Tony Finau (U.S.) 69 68 74 71, Andres Romero (Argentina) 71 69 71 71

283 – Jamie Lovemark (U.S.) 70 68 75 70, Geoff Ogilvy (Australia) 69 72 75 67, Charlie Beljan (U.S.) 69 75 69 70, Brooks Koepka (U.S.) 72 72 70 69, Jason Dufner (U.S.) 68 72 73 70, Hideki Matsuyama (Japan) 70 71 72 70, Sergio Garcia (Spain) 70 75 70 68

284 Thomas Aiken (South Africa) 74 71 73 66, Billy Horschel (U.S.) 72 72 73 67

285 – Justin Rose (Britain) 72 70 72 71, Daniel Summerhays (U.S.) 70 67 78 70, Tommy Fleetwood (Britain) 74 69 73 69, J.B. Holmes (U.S.) 72 66 71 76, Henrik Stenson (Sweden) 65 74 72 74, Francesco Molinari (Italy) 68 73 72 72, Keegan Bradley (U.S.) 73 71 72 69, Marc Warren (Britain) 68 74 72 71, Alexander Levy (France) 70 69 73 73, Morgan Hoffmann (U.S.) 71 74 74 66, Brian Campbell (U.S.) 67 72 78 68, Jimmy Gunn (Britain) 72 73 70 70

286 – Troy Kelly (U.S.) 72 73 72 69, Joost Luiten (Netherlands) 68 69 74 75, Paul Casey (Britain) 72 69 73 72

287 – Ollie Schniederjans (U.S.) 69 73 72 73, Denny McCarthy (U.S.) 71 73 71 72, Robert Streb (U.S.) 74 70 73 70, Jim Furyk (U.S.) 71 73 73 70

288 – Webb Simpson (U.S.) 72 73 71 72, Kevin Na (U.S.) 70 72 72 74, Kevin Chappell (U.S.) 69 75 73 71, Brad Fritsch (Canada) 70 74 72 72

289 – Lee Westwood (Britain) 73 69 77 70, Sam Saunders (U.S.) 72 72 76 69

290 – Ryan Palmer (U.S.) 74 70 73 73, Nick Hardy (U.S.) 70 75 77 68

291Ernie Els (South Africa) 72 70 76 73, Ian Poulter (Britain) 72 73 69 77, Cameron Tringale (U.S.) 75 68 74 74, Mark Silvers (U.S.) 72 71 75 73

292 -Jack Maguire (U.S.) 73 68 73 78, Jimmy Walker (U.S.) 72 73 72 75, Beau Hossler (U.S.) 71 72 73 76, Luke Donald (Britain) 73 71 73 75, D.A. Points (U.S.) 74 71 77 70, Brad Elder (U.S.) 76 68 76 72

293 – Ben Martin (U.S.) 67 70 86 70, Marcus Fraser (Australia) 71 71 77 74, Phil Mickelson (U.S.) 69 74 77 73, Angel Cabrera (Argentina) 70 75 74 74, Colin Montgomerie (Britain) 69 76 72 76, Pan Cheng Tsung (Chinese Taipei) 71 72 76 74

294 – Andy Pope (U.S.) 74 71 77 72, George Coetzee (South Africa) 72 73 72 77

295 – Zach Johnson (U.S.) 72 72 78 73, John Parry (Britain) 72 73 71 79

300 – Camilo Villegas (Colombia) 72 73 80 75

301 -Chris Kirk (U.S.) 70 73 80 78

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