Sunday 17 December 2017

Jordan Spieth lord of all he surveys as he wins Tour title and $10m

Jordan Spieth holds up his trophies after winning the final round of the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club
Jordan Spieth holds up his trophies after winning the final round of the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club
At 26 with two US Opens, a British Open and a US PGA championship in the bag since his first one in 2011, McIlroy arguably has ten to 14 more years to boost his tally
Sweden’s Henrik Stenson watches his tee-shot on the third hole during the final round of the Tour Championship at East Lake GC GETTY IMAGES

William S Callahan

Jordan Spieth trumped his two biggest rivals and won the battle of the Young Ones for 2015 by claiming his first victory in The Tour Championship and a $10 million FedEx Cup bonus at East Lake, Atlanta.

Spieth, 22, Jason Day 28, and Rory McIlroy, 26, have been hailed as the next Big Three in the game because of their achievements, charisma and talent.

But when the dust settled on the last official event of the PGA Tour season, Jordan Spieth stood head and shoulders above them all.

He shot 69 to reach nine-under par and take all the prizes on offer by a four-shot margin from Henrik Stenson, Danny Lee and Justin Rose.

Spieth's Masters and US Open victories announced the Texan as a great player, and he confirmed that status at East Lake.

Routines

His motivation for his intensive practice routines and his desire to perform at a high level was simple: "I don't like getting beat," he said.

"I don't like getting not just beat, but recently demolished. I don't enjoy that. It's not fun.

"Whatever I'm doing, I'm very stubborn with it. I want to be the best at whatever I do.

"I don't like when other people are taking my strengths and doing something better with them as well as displaying other strengths.

"So for me that means there's a drive inside of me to want to go out and improve wherever I can to get the ball in the hole quicker."

Sweden's Henrik Stenson made himself the man to beat after the first two rounds, but Spieth came through Saturday with a one-shot lead and extended it to two after nine holes yesterday.

He and Stenson were paired together for the last two rounds, effectively turning the tournament into a head-to-head contest, despite the gallant efforts of Paul Casey, Danny Lee, Justin Rose and Dustin Johnson to exert some influence on the outcome.

Johnson's 64 was the best round of day. Lee shot 65 and Rose filed 66 including a double-bogey six after going out of bounds on the 10th.

Casey got to six-under par overall before fading to a level-par 70 and joint fifth with Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson on four-under par.

Lee and Rose benefited from Stenson's collapse to end up tied for second place on five-under.

Right from the start, Spieth, who holed some phenomenal birdie putts, including one from 22 feet on the par-four eighth, and a 47-foot raker on the par-three 11th, was a man on a mission.

He led by three shots at nine-under par after 15 holes.

Stenson's game had lost its lustre, and that was not helped by watching up close as Spieth worked his magic and he fell away over the closing holes.

Rory McIlroy mixed the good, bad and ugly to round off a frustrating week on 74, for one-over 281.

The whole experience confirmed his view of 2015 overall.

"I think it's a loss year already, just because I didn't win a Major.

"But I judge myself on the biggest tournaments, and the biggest tournaments we have are the four Majors, and I played okay in them but I didn't win.

"So ultimately, it's a year that I guess got away from me," he said.

Jason Day, winner of four of his last six tournaments including the BMW Championship last Sunday week to reach the world No 1 spot, slightly ran out of steam and now looks forward to a rest.

He battled hard for a last-round 68 and a two-under-par total for the tournament, leaving him seven shots behind the champion.

"I'm still trying to work out how to come into a week after a win and come with a lot of energy.

"It was pretty good play today. I can't be too disappointed with how things went," he said.

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