Jordan Spieth is your winner (again) at the John Deere Classic (again). #QuickHits http://t.co/4D5vCbRffT— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) July 12, 2015
Whether it's the biggest events or one of the smallest of the PGA Tour season, Jordan Spieth keeps getting it done. After a couple weeks off following his U.S. Open victory, the 21-year-old returned to golf at the John Deere Classic and decided to add another title before he goes for the third leg of the grand slam. Spieth is the first player to win four times in a single season before the British Open since 2000, when Tiger Woods piled up five victories by mid-July.
Spieth started this week taking some criticism for even entering and playing the John Deere out in the Quad Cities region in Illinois. He was sitting there with the first two majors in hand and a historic chance to capture the first three legs, so why was he halfway around the world and not prepping over in Scotland, or at least getting used to the time change. It was a legitimate concern. Not many players with guaranteed spots in The Open, let alone Grand Slam aspirations, play the John Deere and take the red eye overseas the week of a major.
But Spieth said he reaffirmed his commitment to the event within 30 minutes of his U.S. Open win last month. It's a nice event that's important to the region, but it's one of the weakest fields of the year, has the smallest purse of the season (non-Fall series), and has that less-than-ideal spot on the calendar. This was where Spieth got his first professional win, however, and he said it was this event that gave him the opportunity to go on and win majors. So he stayed committed.
Spieth was an overwhelming favorite. It's not a deep field and he was 3/1 to win, but it's still startling to see him pick up these titles with almost Tiger-like predictability and frequency. The field always has a better chance, but Spieth is so clearly the best player in the world right now that it doesn't matter. He even spotted everyone else an ugly (by his current standards) opening round, which put him tied for 101st on Thursday night and on the wrong side of the cut line. You might not fault him for mailing it in, packing it up and missing the weekend to get over to Scotland two days early. Instead, he responded with a 7-under 64 to make the cut and shoot up the leaderboard.
While that 64 was the kind of form we're used to seeing this year, and it managed to get him past the cut, the Saturday 61 set a new career mark and put him comfortably on top of the leaderboard. Spieth spent much of Sunday squandering chances on the front nine, and he got lapped by the chasers at a TPC Deere Run course that demands you go low and pour in birdies to stay in contention.
In his 2013 win, Spieth birdied five of his last six holes and needed a miracle hole-out bunker shot at the 18th just to get into a three-man playoff. This Sunday, after relinquishing his 54-hole lead, he got back in the game with four birdies over his final six holes to get into another playoff. The run got serious at the 16th, where he holed a chip shot that put the chasedown of leader Tom Gillis within reach.
On paper, the playoff against Gillis was a total mismatch, but Gillis forced a second playoff hole before handing it to Spieth with a punch out into a water hazard. That made it academic and Spieth now rolls over to Scotland with yet another record.
At age 21, @JordanSpieth is the youngest player in the modern era to win the same @PGATOUR event multiple times.— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGC) July 12, 2015
Sunday started with Rickie Fowler making birdie on three of his last four holes to win a loaded Scottish Open, and finished with Spieth taking this title in Illinois. Not a bad way to begin the week at the season's third major. Here are your final results from the 2015 John Deere Classic:
|Place||Player||Score||Round 1||Round 2||Round 3||Round 4||Total|
|1||Jordan Spieth (playoff winner)||-20||71||64||61||68||264|
|T55||Tyrone van Aswegen||-5||66||70||72||71||279|
|T60||Charles Howell III||-4||64||72||74||70||280|
|T62||Sung Joon Park||-3||68||70||74||69||281|