Recounting: Spieth’s Historic Final Six at Royal Birkdale

Jordan Spieth and Michael Greller strategize a shot in the final round of the 146th Open Championship at Royal Birkdale. Credit:

Thirty-seven years from now (if not sooner), in the 183rd Open Championship at Royal Birkdale, when a 60 year old Jordan Spieth is playing in his final Open Championship, the R & A will no doubt dedicate a plaque at the spot where Spieth took his third shot on the 13th hole on Sunday in the 2017 Open.

It was that shot, and the bizarre sequence of events leading up to it, that seemed to “flip the switch” and turn Spieth into, well, Jordan Spieth.

The shot over a traffic jam of equipment trailers wasn’t particularly wow-inducing, but it landed safely, allowing the young Texan to chip, putt, and walk away with a bogey instead of a 6 or 7… or worse.

And after that, as another Dallas icon used to say sing, “Turn out the lights, the party’s over.”

Let’s take a look at the final-six, hole-by-hole, as I chronicled on Twitter, coupled with the video clips from The Open’s Twitter account.

Hole 13

The beginning of the comeback started here. A horrendous tee shot by Spieth, which went way right, put his ball on the side of a massive hill.

After about a 20 minute delay, Spieth finally took an unplayable, and hit from behind the Titleist trailer to create something of a native advertisement.

The shot wasn’t what you’d call memorable, but it landed safely and allowed Spieth to walk away with a great bogey.

Hole 14

It marked the first time that Spieth hadn’t held at least a share of the lead since the beginning of round one. But that changed in a hurry, as a rejuvenated Spieth laser-beamed his tee shot, and nearly holed it. He would tap in for birdie to grab back a share of the lead.

Hole 15

Boom! And just like that Spieth drops a long bomb eagle to grab back the sole-lead, a lead he would never relinquish the rest of the way. To add some storyline jazz to it all, he cockily tells caddie Michael Greller, to “go get that” ball. Simply iconic!

Hole 16

Kuchar has a tap-in for par, and the 39-year old is probably thinking, ‘there’s no way he’s going to hit two long bombs in a row’ so a one shot deficit heading into the easy par 5 17th (where anything can happen) is not a bad place to be.

And then boom. Again! Just a total dagger into the heart of the ever-classy Kooch, as the young Spieth drains another incredible long bomber. This time for birdie – to take a two shot lead.

Hole 17

Spieth is now up two and the Claret Jug engraver is readying the name ‘Jordan Spieth.’ But Kuchar nails a lengthy birdie putt to cut it to one.

Not so fast.

Spieth answers back with his own birdie, which ended any potential drama on 18.

Hole 18

It’s now just a formality. Johnny Miller advises Spieth to hit an iron off the tee and that’s just what he does. A nice approach, and a two putt for par gives the 23-year old phenom his third major.

Credit: R & A


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