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US Open: Spieth shocked after thrilling win

Published 22/06/2015

Rory McIlroy made an impressive start to his final round (AP)
Rory McIlroy made an impressive start to his final round (AP)
Rory McIlroy made an impressive start to his final round

Jordan Spieth is halfway towards an unprecedented calendar grand slam after winning his second major in succession with a thrilling victory in the 115th US Open.

Spieth carded a closing 69 to finish five under par at Chambers Bay, one shot ahead of Louis Oosthuizen and Dustin Johnson, who had an eagle putt to win on the 18th but three-putted from 12 feet.

The world number two became just the sixth man in history after Craig Wood, Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods to win the Masters and US Open in the same year, as well as the first player since Gene Sarazen in 1922 to win multiple majors aged 21 or younger.

And he will now head into the Open Championship next month aiming to succeed Rory McIlroy as champion and go one better than Arnold Palmer, who won the Masters and US Open in 1960 and finished second at St Andrews.

"To go to the Home of Golf in the next tournament is the sole focus, I am not going to look beyond that," said Spieth, who began the week saying he knew he could make history "in many ways".

"But I guess you can't win them all unless you win the first two. We will go to St Andrews looking to win the Claret Jug. I believe we will be able to get the job done if we get the right prep in.

"I am just in shock that I am the one holding the trophy. Once Dustin's first putt missed I thought we were playing tomorrow (an 18-hole play-off on Monday)."

After three-putting the opening hole, Spieth recovered with birdies at the eighth and 12th and with Johnson losing a two-shot lead with three bogeys in four holes from the 10th, shared the lead with playing partner Branden Grace.

That all changed on the 16th, where Grace drove out of bounds to card a double bogey and Spieth holed from 25 feet for birdie - only for Spieth to double bogey the 17th after compounding a wild tee shot by three putting from 40 feet.

Oosthuizen had set the clubhouse target on four under after a remarkable six birdies in the last seven holes for a record-equalling back nine of 29, before Johnson then made birdie on the 17th to tie the lead.

After two brilliant shots onto the 18th green Spieth two-putted for birdie to finish five under and Johnson initially responded superbly with an even better approach to 12 feet, but saw his eagle attempt drift four feet past and miss the return to force a play-off.

" Whatever the putt did on the last hole, I don't know," said Johnson, who t ook a three-shot lead into the final round at Pebble Beach in 2010 but collapsed to a closing 82, while a two-shot penalty for grounding his club in a bunker on the 72nd hole of the US PGA two months later cost him a place in the play-off.

" I might have pulled it a little bit. But still to me it looked like it bounced left. It's tough. It's very difficult. I played really well. I didn't make any putts today, I really didn't. I had all the chances in the world.

"If any putts go in the hole, I win this thing by a few shots, it's not even close. Other than that I had a damn good week. I had a chance to win again a major on a Sunday. I thought I handled myself very well. I hit the shots when I needed to. So I know what it takes to get it done, it's really simple. I need to get in the hole faster."

Grace shared fourth place with Australian pair Adam Scott and Cameron Smith, Scott having carded a flawless 64 and Smith completing a 68 with a tap-in eagle on the 18th.

"I gave myself the opportunity to actually have a chance to win it and just one bad swing cost me at the end," Grace said. "I was hitting my 3-wood great the whole day. It was a straightforward shot, just spun out of it and that's costly.

"This is definitely the most pressure I've had to deal with in my professional career so far. It's a pity it came down to this."

Jason Day, who collapsed due to vertigo in the second round and battled symptoms over the last 36 holes, struggled to a 74 to share ninth with Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry.

Day said: "I felt relatively good and felt strong after 12 holes. I'm guessing I'll take some time off and get a handle on this.

"I was taken by the fact that so many people supported me. I really made a lot of Jason Day fans out there this week, even though it didn't end up the way I wanted it to end up.

"I fought a good fight. And I think everybody that watched knows that I never gave up. It was a battle."

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