Jordan Spieth can say that he’s accomplished something Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy never did.
Spieth won a PGA Tour event as a teenager — Woods, Mickelson and McIlroy were all 20 when they picked up their first victories – and now he’s joining all those stars at this week’s British Open.
The 19-year-old outlasted David Hearn and Zach Johnson on the fifth hole of a playoff Sunday to win the John Deere Classic in Silvis, Ill., becoming the youngest winner on the PGA Tour in 82 years. He’s also the fourth-youngest winner in Tour history
Spieth, a Dallas native who doesn’t turn 20 for another two weeks, hit a short par putt to earn a spot in the field at Muirfield.
He is the first teenager to win since Ralph Guldahl took the Santa Monica Open in 1931.
“I didn’t think it would happen this early,” said Spieth, who turned pro in December after an All-American season as a freshman at the University of Texas. “I had a plan. I guess the plan got exceeded.”
Spieth started the day six shots behind third-round leader Daniel Summerhays. A bogey on the first hole left him seven back with 17 left.
But Spieth forced his way into the playoff with three consecutive birdies. The last came at No. 18 when he holed out of the bunker from 44 feet in front of a crowd that had expected to see Johnson, the hometown favorite, defend his title.
“The shot on 18 was the luckiest shot I ever hit in my life,” Spieth said. “The fact that it bounced right and hit the pin and dropped down to the cup, it’s just extremely fortunate.”
Spieth, Hearn and Johnson all made par on the first four playoff holes. Spieth made one more par to stave off Johnson and Hearn on the fifth.
Johnson seized control from Summerhays midway through the final round of regulation and looked to be on his way to another win at Deere Run. But Johnson couldn’t get enough birdies to put the field away, and his uncharacteristic bogey on No. 18 set up a three-man playoff.
“I had my chances on the back side in regulation. I mean, I hit some really good shots and just didn’t make anything,” Johnson said.
PERRY RALLIES TO WIN 2ND STRAIGHT MAJOR
Kenny Perry completed his comeback from 10 shots down after the second round to win the U.S. Senior Open in Omaha, Neb.
Perry shot a final-round 63 at the Omaha Country Club and won his second straight senior major by five strokes over Fred Funk.
His 64-63 finish set a tournament record for the last 36 holes. He finished at 13-under 267.
The 52-year-old started two shots behind leader Michael Allen but was in front to stay after he birdied the second and third holes and Allen bogeyed the third.
“It all came together. Why, after all these years?” Perry said. “Here I am, (almost) 53 years old, and it finally came together for me.”
On the regular tour, Perry won 14 times but was best known for collapses in the 2009 Masters and 1996 PGA Championship.
LEFTY WINS IN EUROPE
Phil Mickelson birdied the first playoff hole to beat Branden Grace and win the Scottish Open in Inverness, Scotland, ending his 20-year wait for a victory in Europe.
After three-putting the 72nd hole to miss out on a win in regulation, Mickelson produced a superb pitch to within a foot of the 18th pin to leave Grace a 25-footer to match him.
Grace’s putt rolled by the hole and Mickelson was able to celebrate his 48th victory worldwide in preparation for this week’s British Open at Muirfield.
A 59 ON WEB.COM TOUR
On a day when Will Wilcox shot a 12-under 59, Steve Alker beat Ashley Hall with a par on the first playoff hole to win the Web.com Tour’s Utah Championship in Sandy.
Wilcox finished one stoke back of Alker (66) and Hall (65), who were at 22-under 262. His 59 included 10 birdies and an eagle on the par-3 17th hole.
Former University of Washington player Alex Prugh (68) was tied for 12th at 18 under, and tour money leader Michael Putnam (72) finished 13 under and tied for 30th.
S. KOREAN WINS LPGA
Hee Young Park beat Angela Stanford with a birdie on the third playoff hole to win the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic in Waterloo, Ontario. Park and Stanford birdied the final hole of regulation to set up a tie at 26-under 258.