It wasn't simple, but Jordan Spieth sealed the deal late and won the 2017 Open Championship at Royal Birkdale by three over Matt Kuchar on Sunday. Spieth finished at 12 under with a 268. The Open is Spieth's third career major (Masters, U.S. Open) and gives him three of the four legs of the Grand Slam, which he will go for next month at the PGA Championship.
The 23-year-old joined Jack Nicklaus as the only golfers to win three of four major championships before his 24th birthday (Spieth will turn 24 next week). He's the youngest Open winner since Seve Ballesteros won at 22 in 1979.
Spieth got loose early in Round 4 and made bogey on three of his first four holes to fall back into a tie with Kuchar. It got worse before it got better. There waswhere Spieth took an unplayable and had to hit a shot off the driving range. He was 4 over in his first 13 holes after going under par in that range over each of his first three rounds.
Then, it got historic.
Spieth nearly aced the par-3 14th, made an outrageous eagle at the par-5 15th and followed those with another long birdie putt at the par-4 16th to more or less put Kuchar away. He closed with another birdie at the 17th and played his last five holes in 5 under for the win.
It was what we expected -- Spieth rolling to his third major with a three-stroke lead to start the day -- but it wasn't how we expected it.
Spieth even got a shout out from the Golden Bear himself on Sunday.
It was a crazy, fun weekend at Royal Birkdale, and Spieth touched it off in style with a flurry of birdies and eagles coming home to take his first Claret Jug. Will it be the first of many? Who knows, but this one was resplendent at a place in Royal Birkdale that crowns kings of the sport. One for the history books and three now for Spieth.