Sunday, December 17, 2017
Golf

Spieth first teen to win on PGA Tour since 1931

SILVIS, Ill. — Jordan Spieth has 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 playoff hole Sunday to win the John Deere Classic, the youngest winner on tour in 82 years. All finished regulation at 19-under 265.

Spieth, who turns 20 on July 27, made a short par putt to earn a spot in the field at Muirfield.

He is the first teenager to win since Ralph Guldahl in Santa Monica, Calif., in 1931.

"I didn't think it would happen this early," said Spieth, who turned pro in December after an All-America season as a freshman at Texas. "I had a plan. I guess the plan got exceeded."

Spieth started six behind leader Daniel Summerhays. Bogey on No. 1 left him seven back, but Spieth got into the playoff with three straight birdies. The last came on No. 18 when he holed out of a bunker from 44 feet, his shot hitting the pin and falling. "The shot on 18 was the luckiest shot I ever hit in my life," said Spieth, who shot 6-under 65 in the final round.

Spieth, Hearn and Johnson all parred the first four playoff holes. All three had chances to make a winning shot, with Hearn missing a makeable putt on the fourth playoff hole.

Perry takes U.S. Senior: Kenny Perry capped a masterful performance with 7-under 63 for a five-shot win over Fred Funk in the U.S. Senior Open in Omaha, Neb. Perry, 52, won his second straight Champions Tour major — after famously coming up short a couple of times late in PGA Tour majors — with a flurry. His 64-63 finish and the 10-shot deficit overcome after 36 holes set tournament records. His 13-under 267 matched the lowest four-round score. "It all came together. Why, after all these years?" Perry said.

Mickelson a winner: Phil Mickelson earned his first victory in Europe in 20 years, defeating Branden Grace on the first hole of a playoff at the Scottish Open in Inverness. Both shot 3-under 69 to finish at 271. Mickelson landed his third shot in the playoff, a pitch from 45 yards with a 64-degree wedge, within a foot of the pin on the 18th hole. After Mickelson tapped in, Grace's 25-footer slid by. "Nobody likes a movie that is predictable," Mickelson said. "You always want to have a little bit of suspense."

LPGA: Hee Young Park (65) beat Angela Stanford (64) in the third hole of a playoff to win the Manulife Financial Classic in Waterloo, Ontario, after both tied the tour record for lowest total at 26-under 258. Both birdied No. 18 in regulation, then twice more in sudden death before Park's fourth birdie of the day on the 471-yard, par-5 won it.

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