Enero 21, 2020

British Open: First major title slips away from Matt Kuchar

24 Julio 2017, 07:31 | Cornelio Vivanco

The practice range was right of the 13 fairway but, again, it took some time to sort out all of Spieth's options. Now, on the day when he was up against it the way he was, he had played the greatest four-hole stretch in major championship golf history.

Spieth sliced his tee shot nearly 50 metres right, over a tall sand dune near the driving range. "Unplayable-ball rule gets us into the truck, and then line-of-sight relief takes us not nearer the hole". Between his ball and the green was some 250 yards over a tall hill, making it a blind shot.

From there, he pitched it to about 8 feet and made the putt for one of the great bogeys in major championship history.

Spieth prompted memories of his Masters meltdown a year ago when, after starting his round with a three-shot lead over his fellow American, bogeyed three of the first four holes and found himself trailing by one after a remarkable bogey at the 13th, where he was forced to take a penalty drop on the driving range after a woeful drive.

"Today took as much out of me as any day that I've ever played golf", said Spieth, whose shaky start included four bogeys in his first nine holes. "It would be a dream to win here, but this course doesn't owe me anything, right?" And how do we get back on track to salvage this round and just give yourself a chance at the end?

Now he and Kuchar came to the par-five 17th hole at Birkdale.

"This was eventful. Seventeen pars and a birdie would have been fine too, but there are a lot of roads to get there", Spieth said after receiving the Claret Jug trophy to go with the US$1.85 million (RM7.9 million) cheque for the victor. Spieth said Kuchar was particularly emotional in the scorer's tent just off No.18. "And I needed to — that's the disappointing thing". "I was starting to feel it".

"The turning point was 13, " Greller said. Hitting a lot of good shots. And then the up-and-down was just ridiculous. "He had a nice attitude and I could see he wasn't backing off", Els told reporters.

Royal Birkdale has seen great performances from Asian golfers before at the British Open. Kuchar plugged his second shot in a greenside bunker. And it's an excitement and a thrill to have played well, put up a battle, put up a fight, " said Kuchar, who closed with a 69.

"If I don't win tomorrow, it has nothing to do with that", he said. In fact, and I know this is hard to believe, Spieth is outpacing Woods in some ways. "And I'm going to enjoy it more than I've enjoyed anything that I've accomplished in the past". "It's very understanding. It's a very hard situation".

"It was a really solid day", said the 2015 Masters and US Open champion. I didn't lose any momentum.

Just 15 months ago, Spieth lost a five-shot lead on the back nine at the Masters, coming undone with a quadruple-bogey 7 on the 12th hole.

But Spieth wasn't going to have a bar of melting down, duelling head-to-head with compatriot Matt Kuchar as they turned for home level at eight under.

American Spieth fired a flawless 65 to finish on 11-under 199, three clear of his compatriot Matt Kuchar (66) while South African Grace conjured up a majestic 62 to achieve what no player had done in 441 previous majors.

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