Golf: Spieth seals heart-stopping win at U.S. Open

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

Jordan Spieth
Jordan Spieth hits his tee shot on the 1st hole in the final round of the 2015 U.S. Open golf tournament at Chambers Bay in University Place, Wash., on Sunday. (Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports)

UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. - Masters champion Jordan Spieth added another chapter to golf’s record books with a nerve-jangling, one-shot victory at the U.S. 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 U.S. Open trophy in the same year.
Though Spieth birdied the par-5 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.
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 today at Chambers Bay.
The 21-year-old Spieth posted a 5-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 U.S. Open since Bobby Jones in 1923.
“I’m in shock,” Spieth said. “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-3 17th where he pushed his tee shot way right, Spieth replied: “I was happy 18 was a par-5 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 (U.S. 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.
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 U.S. 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 Pacific Northwest.
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 number one 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 U.S. 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 U.S. Open when set up at 7,695 yards for the second round, but was cut back to 7,384 yards for the final round.


U.S. Open
University Place, Wash.
Jordan Spieth    68-67-71-69-275    (-5)
Dustin Johnson    65-71-70-70-276    (-4)
Louis Oosthuizen    77-66-66-67-276    (-4)
Branden Grace    69-67-70-71-277    (-3)
Adam Scott    70-71-72-64-277    (-3)
Cameron  Smith    70-70-69-68-277    (-3)
Charl Schwartzel    73-70-69-66-278    (-2)
Brandt Snedeker    69-72-70-68-279    (-1)
Jason Day    68-70-68-74-280    (E)
Shane Lowry    69-70-70-71-280    (E)
Rory McIlroy    72-72-70-66-280    (E)
Kevin Kisner    71-68-73-69-281    (+1)
Matt Kuchar    67-73-72-69-281    (+1)
Tony Finau    69-68-74-71-282    (+2)
Patrick Reed    66-69-76-71-282    (+2)
Andres Romero    71-69-71-71-282    (+2)
John Senden    72-72-70-68-282    (+2)
Charlie Beljan    69-75-69-70-283    (+3)
Jason Dufner    68-72-73-70-283    (+3)
Sergio Garcia    70-75-70-68-283    (+3)
Brooks Koepka    72-72-70-69-283    (+3)
Jamie Lovemark    70-68-75-70-283    (+3)
Hideki Matsuyama    70-71-72-70-283    (+3)
Geoff Ogilvy    69-72-75-67-283    (+3)
Thomas Aiken    74-71-73-66-284    (+4)
Billy Horschel    72-72-73-67-284    (+4)
Keegan Bradley    73-71-72-69-285    (+5)
Brian Campbell    67-72-78-68-285    (+5)
Tommy Fleetwood    74-69-73-69-285    (+5)
Jimmy Gunn    72-73-70-70-285    (+5)
Morgan Hoffmann    71-74-74-66-285    (+5)
J.B. Holmes    72-66-71-76-285    (+5)
Alexander Levy    70-69-73-73-285    (+5)
Francesco Molinari    68-73-72-72-285    (+5)
Justin Rose    72-70-72-71-285    (+5)
Henrik Stenson    65-74-72-74-285    (+5)
Daniel Summerhays    70-67-78-70-285    (+5)
Marc Warren    68-74-72-71-285    (+5)
Paul Casey    72-69-73-72-286    (+6)
Troy Kelly    72-73-72-69-286    (+6)
Joost Luiten    68-69-74-75-286    (+6)
Jim Furyk    71-73-73-70-287    (+7)
Denny McCarthy    71-73-71-72-287    (+7)
Ollie Schniederjans    69-73-72-73-287    (+7)
Robert Streb    74-70-73-70-287    (+7)
Kevin Chappell    69-75-73-71-288    (+8)
Brad Fritsch    70-74-72-72-288    (+8)
Kevin Na    70-72-72-74-288    (+8)
Webb Simpson    72-73-71-72-288    (+8)
Sam Saunders    72-72-76-69-289    (+9)
Lee Westwood    73-69-77-70-289    (+9)
Nick Hardy    70-75-77-68-290    (+10)
Ryan Palmer    74-70-73-73-290    (+10)
Ernie Els    72-70-76-73-291    (+11)
Ian Poulter    72-73-69-77-291    (+11)
Mark Silvers    72-71-75-73-291    (+11)
Cameron Tringale    75-68-74-74-291    (+11)
Luke Donald    73-71-73-75-292    (+12)
Brad Elder    76-68-76-72-292    (+12)
Beau Hossler    71-72-73-76-292    (+12)
Jack Maguire    73-68-73-78-292    (+12)
D.A. Points    74-71-77-70-292    (+12)
Jimmy Walker    72-73-72-75-292    (+12)
Angel Cabrera    70-75-74-74-293    (+13)
Marcus Fraser    71-71-77-74-293    (+13)
Ben Martin    67-70-86-70-293    (+13)
Phil Mickelson    69-74-77-73-293    (+13)
Colin Montgomerie    69-76-72-76-293    (+13)
Cheng-Tsung Pan    71-72-76-74-293    (+13)
George Coetzee    72-73-72-77-294    (+14)
Andy  Pope    74-71-77-72-294    (+14)
Zach Johnson    72-72-78-73-295    (+15)
John Parry    72-73-71-79-295    (+15)
Camilo Villegas    72-73-80-75-300    (+20)
Chris Kirk    70-73-80-78-301    (+21)

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