The Open: Jordan Spieth claims The Claret Jug after dramatic final round duel with Matt Kuchar

Jordan Spieth has won his third major with a remarkable three-stroke victory over fellow American Matt Kuchar.

Jordan Spieth has become the youngest winner of The Open since Seve Ballesteros, and joins Jack Nicklaus as the only golfers to have won three of the four majors before the age of 24 after an epic final round duel with Matt Kuchar.

There was an air of mundane about the lead up to the final round of the 146th Open at Royal Birkdale. Perfect conditions and Jordan Spieth’s three-shot lead over Matt Kuchar lead almost everyone to believe that this was going to be a walk in the park for Spieth. At the very least a minor shoot-out with Kuchar.

But no one could believe the drama that unfolded.

Spieth’s shot at The Claret Jug, and the third leg of a career grand clam looked in danger at the par-4 13th hole. After a dramatic 30-minutes that involved a penalty drop on the practice fairway, Spieth averted a major blemish to card a bogey and begun an incredible final flurry that will long be remembered in Open history.

Spieth, who turns 24 on Thursday went birdie-birdie-eagle-birdie to arrive at the 18th with a two-shot cushion, a sizzling hot putter and the title at Champion Golfer of the Year.

“This is incredible. This is absolutely a dream come true,” Spieth said during the trophy presentation. “I was able to drink a bit of wine out of it when Zach Johnson won it two years ago and a lot of people told me that was bad luck. I started to believe them through nine holes today, but it feels good to have this in my hands.”

Spieth will be aiming to complete the career grand slam when he plays the US PGA Championship at Quail Hollow in mid-August.

As the reigning Emirates Australian Open champion Spieth will be coming back to Sydney to defend the Stonehaven Cup at The Australian Golf Club from 23-26 November.

The drama began at the first tee when Spieth found some deep rough on the left-hand side of the fairway and ended up carding a bogey. Kuchar birdied the second and when Spieth made consecutive bogeys at the 3rd and 4th holes, the three-shot lead had evaporated.

Li Haotong was in the clubhouse at 6-under, easily the best finish in a major for a Chinese golfer. And with Spieth and Kuchar going backwards to 8-under par, it was clear this wasn’t going to be the ho-hum final round that was predicted.

Spieth and Kuchar looked to be feeling the nerves with poor shots and strange club choices at the 6th hole. Spieth turned his tee shot over and somehow scrambled a par. Kuchar elected to use a hybrid from the deep rough and couldn’t get up-and-down from 50-yards to card a bogey.

And as the rain set in Kuchar nailed a birdie at the ninth that saw both players locked for the lead at 8-under par going into the back nine.

The craziness began with Spieth’s wild drive at the par-4 13th that led to some mad scenes.

Spieth decided to take an unplayable but spent 20 minutes with officials scoping out a spot to play it from, eventually settling on a line-of-sight spot on the driving range. Later Spieth would apologise to Kuchar for taking so long but the penalty drop at least gave him a shot towards the green.

Half an hour after he had began the hole, Spieth pitched to 8-feet and nailed the putt for a remarkable bogey. However Spieth was now trailing Kuchar for the first time and golf fans wondered how the young American would react. The stage was set for an epic final few holes but few expected Spieth the bounce back the way he did.

Starting at the next hole, the par-3 14th Spieth almost aced his tee shot tapping in for an easy birdie. Kuchar and Spieth now tied for the

On the next hole, Spieth drained this monster putt for eagle.

Kuchar made birdie but now Spieth was on fire. His putter running white-hot he nailed this birdie at the par-4 16th and when both players made birdie at the par-5 17th, Spieth arrived at the 18th hole with a two-stroke cushion.

Marc Leishman was the best of the Aussies producing a superb final round 5-under 65 to finish in a tie for 6th place. Leishman’s last four Open’s included three top-10 finishes; T5-T2-T53-T6.

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