Spieth wins Aussie Open title in thrilling playoff
Jordan Spieth has won the 2016 Australian Open championship with a superb display of determination and clutch putting at the Royal Sydney Golf Club.
The world No.5 drained a pressure puttat the 72nd hole of the tournament to make it into a three-way play-off with Australians Ashley Hall and Cameron Smith, then nailed an uphill 15-footer for birdie to win a gripping tournament after the trio had being forced into a sudden death play-off.
The Texan, who also lifted the Stonehaven Cup in 2014, shot a final three-under 69 to join Australian clubhouse leaders Ashley Hall and Cameron Smith, who both shot final rounds of 66, on 12-under-par for the tournament.
“I felt I played really well this week,” said Spieth. “Certainly felt like I was playing well enough to be in contention, just wasn’t sure about winning, and then we made the putts at the very end that mattered.”
Spieth was honest in his assessment of his game at the press conference and winning in the style that he did has given him a huge confidence booster heading into the 2017 PGA Tour season.
Jordan Spieth holds the 2016 Australian Open trophy (Credit: Anthony Powter)
“It’s moments like today where you really take it going forward. The way we played the play-off is going to do wonders for me. I’ve been in a little bit of a stall hitting shots when they mattered. I can look back [next year] the way this one was finished.”
Hall and Smith will be rewarded for their second place with spots at next year’s Open Championship along with Aaron Baddeley, who finished in a tie for fourth with four other players after a final-round 71.
Third round leader Geoff Ogilvy led the tournament with four holes to play, but dropped a shot on the 15th and then a poor drive into the trees resulted on the next hole, crashing him out of the tournament with a double bogey to eventually finish in a tie for fourth with Jason Scrivener, Rod Pampling, Ryan Fox and Aaron Baddeley at 10-under.
Former world number one Adam Scott was also looking for a second title but, after starting the day four shots off the pace, double-bogeyed the 11th then dropped another shot at the 12th to finish with a 73 and a share of 14th on six-under.
After triumphing at The Lakes Golf Club two years ago, and falling just short in his title defence at The Australian in 2015, Spieth loves playing this event and has hinted, schedule permitting, that he’ll be back again to defend his title.
“We love coming here, certainly plan on it…it’s hard to tell,” said Spieth.
“I’ve cut out a lot of overseas travel this year but we still came here because that’s how important this event is to us. And I haven’t gone anywhere else…so even if overseas travel is trimmed out we still like coming here and plan to [in 2017], it’s just I certainly can’t say yes or no right this second.”
Let’s hope we see Spieth back next year – as he’s all class in every respect.
Jordan Spieth: What’s In The Bag
Driver: Titleist 915D2 (9.5º)
3 Wood: Titleist 915F (15º)
Hybrid: Titleist 916H2 (21º)
Irons: Titleist 716 T-MB (4), Titleist 716 AP2 (5-9)
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM6 (46-08 F Grind, 52-08 F Grind, 56-10 S Grind and 60-04 L Grind)
Putter: Scotty Cameron 009 Prototype
Ball: Titleist Pro V1X Prototype