Jordan Spieth was left to count the cost of his “upsetting” finish to his third round at The Open as a spirited final-day 66 was not enough to deny Collin Morikawa.
Spieth was just one shot behind Louis Oosthuizen with two holes remaining in the Saturday evening sunshine and in great position to set up the chance to tie the South African after a perfect drive down the 17th fairway.
But the 2017 champion made bogey despite having only 60 yards for his second, and he compounded the error with a three-putt bogey at the last to slip three strokes behind before heading straight to the practice putting green.
His attempts to clear his head looked to have failed when he bogeyed the fourth and sixth holes on Sunday, but he roared back into contention with an eagle at the seventh followed by birdies at nine and 10.
Despite Morikawa reeling off three straight birdies approaching the turn, Spieth kept the pressure on with gains at 13 and 14 trimming the deficit to a single shot, but four closing pars left him two strokes behind the champion.
“It’s hard to be upset when I was a couple over through six holes, I couldn’t have really done much more after that point,” said Spieth, whose runner-up finish was his best result in a major since winning The Open at Royal Birkdale in 2017.
Get the best prices and book a round at one of 1,700 courses across the UK & Ireland
No results found. Please try another search.
“But the finish on Saturday, that was about as upset as I’ve ever taken a finish of a round to the house. I walked in and said, ‘Is there something that I can break?’ I knew that was so important because I would have been in the final group.
“I was 60 yards out and in the fairway, and made bogey on 17. Then I had a good look straight up the hill on 18. I finished two over on those holes, which what was frustrating was the separation it would have been. It would have been three of us separated by at least three shots from the field and I would have been in the final group.
“So it was kind of a double whammy there where you feel like you’re not worried about someone going low behind you as much and you feel in control when you’re in the final group. That was a new one for me, but what good does it do to be upset? I got to play with a chaser’s mentality, which sometimes can be with a bit more freedom.”
Spieth’s disappointment increased with his early mistakes on the final day, but he was proud of how he hauled his way back into the running although he did not get any help from the leader, whose resolve held firm in a bogey-free closing round of 66.
“So I had to regroup 18 hours later and then just had a lot of in-between clubs, and you have to be so precise here,” added Spieth. “You need some good numbers, but I kind of fatted it off six and went to seven thinking, ‘Okay, now we’re going for everything, and we’re going to see what happens’.
“I’m proud of going six under in the last 12 in this golf tournament and putting some pressure on Collin. From what I’ve heard, he made a big par save on 10, made a putt up the ridge on 14 and a par save on 15. I needed a break, and I didn’t get it from him.
“I did all I could. So I’m upset because I really felt like I played well enough to win and made a couple of really dumb mistakes that possibly, if I had maybe played the week before, wouldn’t have made, like just stepping in and missing a two-footer on 18 yesterday, not really thinking about it.
“But at the same time, I did everything I could in the past few hours to win this championship.”
Jon Rahm, meanwhile, earned a podium finish on 11 under after a spectacular late charge with four consecutive birdies from the 13th in a closing 66, but the US Open champion conceded he had not putted well enough to contend for back-to-back major victories.
“It was a good championship and I played really good golf, but I think the main part of my game that could have been a little bit better is putting,” said the Spaniard. “Not that I’m asking to make every putt, but I really struggled to make putts outside really eight feet.
“Even if you take today, I did make a long one on 15, but besides that every birdie putt I had was short, and even the eagle putt on the seventh. There were a lot of chances out there that I could have made or that I know that guys out there ahead of me are making.
“At the end of the day, it was still a really good showing, I played really good golf all week. Too bad I ended up just shy, but I’m still going to smile because I gave it my all. Finished really, really strong and gave myself the best chance I could.”
Source: Read Full Article