Teen Spieth wins PGA Tour event
Jordan Spieth can say that he’s accomplished something that Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy never did.
Spieth won a PGA Tour event as a teenager — and now he’s joining all those stars at next week’s British Open.
The 19-year-old outlasted David Hearn and Zach Johnson on the fifth hole of a playoff Sunday to win the John Deere Classic, becoming the youngest winner on the PGA Tour in 82 years.
Spieth, a Dallas native who doesn’t turn 20 for another two weeks, hit a short par putt to earn a spot in the field at Muirfield.
He is the first teenager to win since Ralph Guldahl took the Santa Monica Open in 1931.
“I didn’t think it would happen this early,” said Spieth, who turned pro in December after an All-American season as a freshman at the University of Texas. “I had a plan. I guess the plan got exceeded.”
Spieth started the day six shots behind third-round leader Daniel Summerhays. A bogey on the first hole left him seven back with 17 to play.
But Spieth forced his way into the playoff with three straight birdies. The last came when he holed out of the bunker from 44 feet, delighting a crowd that had expected to see Johnson, the hometown favorite, defend his title.
Spieth caught a break when that 44-footer took a pair of fortuitous bounces. But he also put himself in that position with a brilliant final round.
“The shot on 18 was the luckiest shot I ever hit in my life,” Spieth said. “The fact that it bounced right and hit the pin and dropped down to the cup, it’s just extremely fortunate.”
US Senior Open
Kenny Perry is getting the hang of these majors. He only wishes it had happened sooner.
Perry completed a masterful performance with a 7-under 63 that gave him a five-shot win over Fred Funk in the U.S. Senior Open.
The 52-year-old Kentuckian won his second straight senior major with a flurry. His 64-63 finish and the 10-shot deficit he overcame after 36 holes set tournament records. His 13-under total of 267 matched the lowest four-round score.
“It all came together. Why, after all these years?” Perry said. “Here I am, [almost] 53 years old, and it finally came together for me.”
On the regular tour, Perry won 14 times but was best known for collapses in the 2009 Masters and 1996 PGA Championship. Those memories haunted him again in May when he squandered a three-shot lead with six holes to play in the Senior PGA Championship and lost by two to Kohki Idoki.
Just as he did two weeks ago in the Senior Players Championship at Fox Chapel, Pa., where he won by two shots over Fred Couples and Duffy Waldorf, Perry came from well behind to win in the hills and heat at the par-70 Omaha Country Club.
Hee Young Park beat Angela Stanford on the third playoff hole to win the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic.
Park birdied the deciding hole for the victory after both she and Stanford birdied the final hole of regulation to set up a tie at 26-under 258 after 72 holes.