Champion Golfer of the Year
Spieth rewrote the history books on Sunday with his Open win, but it came with some drama at Royal Birkdale. The 23-year-old fell out of the lead for the first time all week at the par-4 13th, after hitting one of the worst drives ever seen. Spieth would rebound, going 5-under over his final five holes to pass Matt Kuchar for his first career Claret Jug. The Texan heads into the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow next month with a chance to become the youngest ever to win the career grand slam.
The venue set a new attendance record for an Open staged in England, and provided players with a different test each day of the tournament. The layout produced a historical 62 on Saturday, while also registering a scoring average of 74.03 on Day 2.
"All the guys respect this golf course," Justin Rose told reporters after a final-round 70. "Everyone thinks it's one of the best on the rotation. I think it's fair. In the breeze it plays well, especially the way it's set up this year."
Branden Grace was the story on Saturday at The Open, after posting the lowest-ever round in a major championship with a score of 62. Grace's caddie, Zack Rasego, was one of the reasons the South African was able to reach the historic number, keeping his player in the moment throughout the round.
"Let’s get this out of the way. I didn’t know what was going on on 18, I promise you," Grace told reporters after signing his historic scorecard. "Zack came up and said, 'You're in the history books.' And I was like, 'What are you talking about?'"
Not long after Grace's 62, Rory McIlroy looked like he would join the South African in the history books, going 3-under in his first six holes. But that would be the end of the Ulsterman's third-round charge, throwing back-to-back bogeys on the card at Nos. 7 and 8, then making an awful double-bogey at the 10th.
"I took the wrong club on 10 off the tee," McIlroy told the Golf Channel. "You either hit a club that stays short of all those bunkers or you take a club that at least only brings the traps up at 300 into play, and I did neither."
The world No. 4 would post 69 on a day when 30 golfers shot 68 or better at Royal Birkdale.
"Yeah, I definitely feel like today was an opportunity lost to get right in the mix going into tomorrow," he told reporters.
DJ's 61 attempt
Dustin Johnson said he "figured it out" on Saturday, after shooting a third-round 64, and believed he needed to shoot a 61 on Sunday to challenge for the title. Johnson shot a 61, but it came with three-and-a-half holes left in his round. The world No. 1 went out in 38, and came in with a 39, posting a 77, and finished in a tie for 54th.
(Photos courtesy: Action Images)
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