Jordan Spieth holes bunker shot to win Travelers playoff

CROMWELL, Conn. — Jordan Spieth needed an extra hole, a little bit of luck and an amazing final shot to finish off a wire-to-wire victory in the Travelers Championship.

The two-time major champion holed out from 60 feet for birdie from a greenside bunker on the first hole of a playoff with Daniel Berger on Sunday at TPC River Highlands.

The 23-year-old Texan joined Tiger Woods as the only PGA Tour players with 10 victories in the era since World War II. Woods won 15 times before he turned 24.

“That was one for the ages,” said Spieth, also the winner at Pebble Beach in February.

Spieth held a one-stroke edge after each of the first three rounds. He closed with an even-par 70 to match Berger — who birdied three of the final six holes for a 67 — at 12-under 268.

Berger, the Memphis winner two weeks ago before missing the cut last week at the U.S. Open, just missed a 50-foot putt from off the 18th green left that would have forced a second playoff hole.

“Jordan does Jordan things,” Berger said. “So there’s not really much you can say. I’m obviously disappointed, but happy to be in the position I was in today.”

Berger began the round in third place, three shots back. He tied Spieth for a lead with a 5-foot birdie putt on 15 as Spieth was making bogey on 14 and tied him again with a birdie from 8 feet at 17.

The pair, playing a group apart, both hit their approach shots on 18 into the same greenside bunker. Both chipped out close to the hole and both saved par to force the playoff.

Berger hit his drive on the first playoff hole left and into the crowd behind a fairway bunker. Spieth seemed to clip a tree left landing in the fairway but about 150 yards short of his normal drive and 230 yards from the hole.

Spieth’s approach fell into bunker. Berger’s ran off the green to the left.

Spieth had to back up after hitting his bunker shot to see the hole. When the ball rolled straight in the cup he threw his club and did a flying chest bump into caddie Michael Greller.

“If I was in Berger’s shoes, I be cursing Jordan Spieth right now for the break off the tee and then holing a 30-yard bunker shot, that’s a lot of luck,” Spieth said.

Spieth didn’t waste any time extending his lead to three strokes Sunday. He hit his approach shot to 6 feet on the first hole and made the birdie putt, then made a 5-footer at No. 2. But those would be his final two birdies until a 16-footer on the 15th hole.

He also survived a couple of big scares. The first came when his drive on 13 went right but stuck on the side of a hill to stay out of the water. He missed a 7-foot birdie putt, but saved par.

He then hit his tee shot on the 15th left, just avoiding the water and the hazard line in the rough. He chipped to the middle of the green and made a 16-foot putt for birdie, which he thought he had missed. .

His second shot at 17 also looked as if it might hit the course’s signature lake, but landed just on the edge of the green and he made par.

“That’s a lot of luck,” Spieth said. “But I took advantage of the good breaks and am happy to come out on top.”

He’s the third player to go wire-to-wire alone in the lead at the Connecticut event. Gene Littler did it in 1959 and Tim Morris in 1982. Spieth’s only other wire-to-wire win was the 2015 Masters.

Sunday’s win was also his first win in a tournament debut. The last player to win in Cromwell in his first start was Phil Blackmar in 1985.

Charley Hoffman (66) and Danny Lee (67) tied for third, three strokes back.

David Hearn (69) of Brantford, Ont., was the low Canadian, tying for eighth at 8 under.

Mackenzie Hughes (66) of Dundas, Ont., tied for 17th at 6 under, Graham DeLaet (68) of Weyburn, Sask., was in a group at 26th at 5 under, Ottawa’s Brad Fritsch (68) was 3 under to tie for 43rd and Adam Hadwin (71) of Abbotsford, B.C., was at 1 under to tie for 57th.

Just Posted

Accused murderer tells all to Mr. Big undercover officer

Joshua Frank tells undercover police officer he shot the Klaus family

Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre prepares to open

Non-profit will run the facility and agencies will provide staff

A slow economic recovery isn’t yet loosening Central Alberta’s tight job market

Job-seekers at Red Deer fair say there are still few openings

Rocky Mountain House man arrested for child luring

A 30-year-old Rocky Mountain House man was arrested after allegedly having explicit… Continue reading

Parkinson association will close offices but maintain services

Offices closing in Red Deer, Medicine Hat and Lethbridge

WATCH: Central Middle School students’ Christmas tree

A group of Central Middle School students are set to show off… Continue reading

Red Deerian honours her brother who died in a motorcycle collision

Houaida Haddad is encouraging Red Deer residents to donate blood

Red Deer County firefighters to be recognized for Waterton help

RCMP brass will give formal recognition Monday

Ron James tries to lighten humanity’s load through humour

The comedian returns to Red Deer for shows Dec. 1 and 2

100+ Women Red Deer donate to Christmas Bureau

About $14,000 will help with Christmas hampers and toys

Semi collides with vehicle on Highway 2 north of Ponoka

Members of the Ponoka Integrated Traffic Unit dealt with a call on Highway 2 north of Ponoka

After 70 years, Red Deer veteran still remembers his traumatic war experience

Frank Krepps feels lucky to have survived the Second World War

Merritt Mountie charged with assault

Charges are in relation to an incident in May at the detachment, B.C. Prosecution Service said

Blackfalds RCMP arrest “armed and dangerous” man

A 38-year-old man, who police identified as armed and dangerous, was arrested… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month