SAN FRANCISCO: Two-time major champion Jordan Spieth fired a bogey-free two-under par 70 Sunday (Monday in Manila) to win the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and capture his ninth career US PGA Tour title.
The 23-year-old American birdied the second and second-to-last holes in the final round at Pebble Beach Golf Links, the only course used Sunday after three layouts were played over the tournament’s first three rounds.
Spieth finished on 19-under par 268, having seized a six-stroke lead after 54 holes with back-to-back 65s Friday and Saturday that allowed him to cruise to a four-stroke triumph over fellow American Kelly Kraft.
“It’s unbelievable. We had just a fantastic weekend,” Spieth said. “I hit 17 greens today. It was just kind of a dream round when you are leading by a bunch. Finally got one to go in at 17.”
In his 100th career PGA event, Spieth birdied the par-5 second hole after reaching the green in two shots and tapping in and then made 14 pars before sinking a 30-foot birdie putt at the par-3 17th.
“I kept saying, ‘I don’t like playing boring golf,’” Spieth said. “But that’s what was needed today and that’s how we closed it out.”
Spieth, who won the 2015 Masters and US Open, captured his first title of the year and became the first player 23-or-under to win by three or more shots five times.
Only 14-time major winner Tiger Woods has won nine PGA titles at a younger age, about a month quicker than Spieth, who also became the second-youngest Pebble Beach champion after compatriot John Cook in 1981.
It was Spieth’s first triumph since winning the Australian Open last November. Spieth lost in his first four attempts to win when leading after 54 holes but since then has won six of seven such opportunities, faltering only with an epic back-nine collapse at last year’s Masters.
Reigning US Open champion Dustin Johnson was third on 273 with fellow American Brandt Snedeker another shot back and world number one Jason Day of Australia on 275 alongside Spain’s Jon Rahm and American Gary Woodland.
Kraft fired a 67 but never came nearer than three shots to Spieth in settling for his best career PGA finish.
“This is great,” Kraft said. “My game is really good. I haven’t been clicking all four rounds and everything clicked here. What a fabulous place to do it.”
Johnson fired a 68 but wondered what might have been had he not taken a bogey at the par-5 sixth and missed short birdie putts at the par-5 14th and 18th holes.
“I felt like I was playing really well,” Johnson said. “I played well on the front. I just didn’t make any putts.
“I’m happy with the way I finished,” Johnson added. “The game is starting to turn around. I’m just getting refreshed. I’m getting back into it. I think the game is in good shape for the rest of this year.”