Grading the John Deere Classic
Jordan Spieth, Steve Stricker and Zach Johnson all get high marks at the 2013 John Deere Classic.
There was a lot at stake in the playoff at the John Deere Classic on Sunday as Zach Johnson, Jordan Spieth and David Hearn battled for the last pre-British Open PGA Tour win of the year.
For Johnson, it was an opportunity to become just the 108th golfer in history to win 10 or more PGA Tour events. He also had a chance to get on the World Golf Hall of Fame ballot at the age of 40 (he's 37). Johnson would also join Tiger Woods as the only golfer to win the same event in 2013 that he won in 2012.
For Hearn and Spieth, a win would mean entrance into this year's British Open. For Spieth, more was at stake. He would become the first teenager since 1931 (yes, 1931) to win a PGA Tour event and move to 11th in the FedEx Cup rankings.
In the end, it was the 19-year-old Spieth who proved victorious after five grueling playoff holes that didn't include a single birdie.
Spieth punched out from behind a tree on the par-4 No. 18 (the third time that they had played it -- they also played No. 16 and No. 17) to the fringe and two-putted for par while Johnson and Hearn both made bogey.
Spieth was humble after his round when he talked to CBS' David Feherty: "Honestly, I got a good break, and Zach got a bad break [being behind a tree off the tee]."
The win punctuates (for now) Spieth's incredible season in which he has accomplished more than any other 19-year-old in the history of the PGA Tour.
According to Justin Ray of ESPN, Spieth's six top 10s as a teenager are six more than Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jack Nicklaus, Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Byron Nelson combined.
And the win wouldn't have been possible if not for Spieth's crazy chip-in on the 72nd hole of the tournament (video above) for birdie. The birdie (his sixth in nine holes) got him to 19 under and sent him to the playoff.
Now the officials at the John Deere Classic are sending him off to Scotland for the British Open.
Here are our grades for the John Deere Classic:
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