Spieth ends 4-year drought with win in Texas

SAN ANTONIO — Jordan Spieth tapped in for par to win the British Open for his third main and eleventh victory in simply 5 years on the PGA Tour. He by no means imagined he would go 1,351 days earlier than he felt that approach once more.

He went 82 occasions on tour with out profitable. As soon as the No. 1 participant, he was headed out of the highest 100 on this planet.

And now he is again.

Spieth ended a mystifying stoop Sunday by giving himself birdie possibilities and making most of them, closing with a 6-under 66 to carry off Charley Hoffman for a 2-shot victory within the Valero Texas Open.

“There’s peaks and valleys on this sport, however I by no means anticipated to go this lengthy,” Spieth mentioned. “Again then, in between wins, possibly I took issues extra as a right than I ought to have. It’s totally troublesome to win out right here and I will definitely take pleasure in this one as a lot as I’ve some other.”

The one shock was that he figured he could be extra emotional. He was too busy holding off a spirited run by Hoffman, who went from a 3-shot deficit with six holes to play to a single shot behind. Spieth all however sealed it with a wedge to a again pin to five toes for birdie.

“This can be a monumental win for me,” Spieth mentioned. “It has been a protracted highway. There have been a whole lot of instances that I did not know I’d be right here.”

Now he heads to Augusta Nationwide as one of many favorites on the Masters. Even going so lengthy with out profitable, the twelfth win of his profession allowed him to hitch some elite firm. Previously 40 years, solely Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas gained at the least 12 instances earlier than turning 28.

The 27-year-old from Dallas confirmed indicators of turning it round after beginning the yr by lacking the reduce at Torrey Pines. He was tied for the 54-hole lead in Phoenix. He led by 2 photographs going into the ultimate spherical at Pebble Seaside. He was 2 behind going into the final day at Bay Hill. He reached the weekend of the Dell Match Play.

“I’ve had an opportunity on Sundays three or 4 totally different instances within the final two months, and at present was by far the most effective that I performed,” Spieth mentioned. “Simply to see these putts go in, I felt like I used to be doing every thing proper these different Sundays and I hit good putts and so they would not go in. As we speak I hit a pair that I did not fairly strike very effectively however they went in.”

Tied for the lead with Matt Wallace going into Sunday on the TPC San Antonio, Spieth moved out in entrance and did not let anybody catch him. He constructed a 3-shot lead with a birdie on the twelfth gap, when Hoffman made him sweat.

Hoffman chipped in for birdie on the par-3 thirteenth and holed a 20-foot birdie putt from the perimeter on the par-3 sixteenth to get inside a shot. However he discovered a bunker off the tee on the brief par-4 seventeenth and needed to accept par as Spieth moved 2 photographs forward, and so they each made par on the closing gap.

“I’ve misplaced golf tournaments, I’ve gained golf tournaments, however at present Jordan gained the golf event,” Hoffman mentioned. “Clearly I put some stress on. Clearly I’d have preferred to have hit some higher photographs coming down the stretch, however gave myself a possibility coming down the 18th fairway and that is all you may ask for. Hats off to Jordan.”

Spieth, who completed at 18-under 270, moved to No. 38 on this planet. He’s again within the prime 50 for the primary time in additional than a yr.

Wallace could not sustain and closed with a 70 to complete alone in third. Lucas Glover (66) completed in fourth, whereas Anirban Lahiri birdied the final gap for a 69 to complete alone in fifth.

Spieth sometimes is a favourite on the Masters, the place he was runner-up in his debut in 2014, gained wire to wire the subsequent yr and was runner-up once more after shedding a back-nine lead in 2016.

He as soon as mentioned he by no means actually thought of a lot why he performed effectively and gained, he simply did. Now after a lot inspection of a recreation that acquired away from him, and the work it required to get again, he seems headed in the suitable route.

“There’s some key moments right here and there, totally different time intervals the place I felt like issues have been turning round,” he mentioned. “There’s additionally moments I look again on the place I hit balls ’til my fingers bled and I wasn’t doing the suitable factor and I simply went residence [and] thought of it. Misplaced sleep. This sport can take you a whole lot of totally different instructions.”

On at the present time, it took him to a trophy ceremony that got here with a pair of cowboy boots.

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