Sunday, May 28, 2023

Spieth beat Cantley by 7 inches with a playoff bunker shot

Hilton Head Island, SC ( Associated Press) – Jordan Spieth hit a 7-inch 56-foot shot from a greenside bunker and beat Patrick Cantley with a tap-in par put on the first hole of the playoffs at RBC Heritage on Sunday.

Playing in groups of four ahead of Cantley, Spieth held Harbor Town’s par-4 18th Lighthouse Hole in regulation, with a 5-under 66 and a 10-footer for a 13-under 271 total. Cantley crossed 18th place in regulation to 68.

When Spieth finished, he was one stroke behind Shane Lowry. But on the 14th par-3, Lori’s chip ran into the green and into the water, causing a double bogey. He returned a stroke after 69.

In the playoffs, Cantley also hit in the front bunker, his lie looking like a fried egg. He blasted 35 feet ahead of the cup and missed the par put.

Three strokes after Harold Warner III entered the round, Spieth eagled both front-nine par 5s to get into the mix.

Spieth won his 13th PGA Tour title after taking the Valero Texas Open a year earlier to end a four-year drought and a second consecutive title on Easter Sunday.

Next Easter Sunday? Masters Final Round.

“It’s got good vibes,” said three-time Masters champion Spieth.

Cam Davis (63) was also one stroke back along with Warner (70), JT Poston (64), Cameron Young (66), Sepp Straka (68), Matt Kutcher (68).

Spieth has won from the first bunker. He defeated Daniel Berger with a greenside bunker shot on the first extra hole at the 2017 Travelers Championship.

Other than Cantley, who missed a 15-foot score for a birdie on his 72nd hole, he had a chance to catch Spieth. Straka tied up with a birdie in 13th at 13-under, then bogeyed into the final hole when he found some tall grass in front of the green. Warner had birdie chances on each of his last four holes, yet could not convert any of them.

Spieth took off with the early Eagles. On the second hole, he exited a greenside bunker. On the fifth hole, he reached the green in two and rolled 24 feet as cheers echoed across the gallery.

Spieth reached 13 under with a birdie on the eighth and returned to 11 under with a bogey on the ninth and 11th. He moved into striking position with a birdie on the 13th, then reached 10 feet to the drama-filled lighthouse hole and posted at 13 unders.


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