Sport

Spieth holes bunker shot to win Travelers in playoff

Spieth holes bunker shot to win Travelers in playoff”

Jordan Spieth produced one of the shots of the year to beat Daniel Berger on the first play-off hole and complete a wire-to-wire victory at the Travelers Championship.

"For the bunker shot to go in, that was awesome", Spieth, who turns 24 next month, said after the win. Berger shot 66 with the help of four birdies on the back nine.

And with the 18th green still shaking with excitement after Spieth's 61-foot wedge from the bunker found the hole for birdie, Berger knew he needed to match a miracle.

CROMWELL All Daniel Berger could do was offer Jordan Spieth a weak smile and thumbs up from across the green.

Travelers hit big in 2017 by bringing in Spieth, Jason Day and Rory McIlroy. He previously did so at the 2013 John Deere Classic when he holed out on the final hole to force a three-way playoff, which he then won aged 19 to become the youngest PGA Tour victor in 82 years.

Spieth recovered from his early double bogey with three birdies across his next eight holes and afterwards confessed it was his putting that saved his round. McIlroy, who didn't qualify for the weekend at Erin Hills, hasn't missed consecutive cuts since 2012.

"I mean it's just Jordan doing Jordan things", Berger, who absorbed another frustrating loss, said of Spieth's sand shot.

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"I missed a couple (of putts) coming in, but it was an improvement on the last three days", said McIlroy, of Northern Ireland.

"I think this was my third wire-to-wire win worldwide, second one at The Masters, and here, and then Tiger's event (Hero World Challenge)".

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.

First-round leader Sung Hyun Park followed her opening 63 with a 73 to drop into a tie for 10th at 6 under. It also was the first on tour for the 23-year-old North Carolinian. "Stepping up to 16 a lot more confidently than I may have if I had made par or even a bogey". He shot a 68 to finish at 5 under. The event that started in 1952 as the Insurance City Open and was later rechristened as the Greater Hartford Open - or simply GHO to the local folks - was on the verge of extinction. That technically is correct, but on the silver trophy that Spieth was still clutching hours after the victory, there should be etched a line of demarcation that notes a tipping point this year, when it became something so much more.

Sergio Garcia carded a 5-under 67 to join Richard Bland atop the leaderboard after the third round of the BMW International Open in Munich.

After starting birdie-birdie on the day, Spieth would par nine of the next 12 holes.



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