By Brian O’Hare
ALL those who at close quarters observed Jordan Spieth claim the Australian Open in such fine fashion last November foreshadowed a big year for the young Texan but no-one in their wildest forecasting dreams thought he’d snaffle the season’s first two majors.
Twenty one year old Spieth now has the 2015 US Open to add to his US Masters win and his place in golf’s rich folklore is already assured.
Spieth’s (69) dramatic one shot victory at the much maligned Chambers Bay Golf Club over Dustin Johnson (70) and Louis Oosthuizen (67) saw him become the youngest US Open winner in 92 years. The only question now is how great a career will unfold for this very affable, very talented golfer in what we’d all hope is a very long innings.
Aussie golf fans fronting their television screens early Monday were hoping for a different result of course, particularly after Jason Day’s heroic effort in the third round. But it was not to be.
After the top three, the next two names on the final leaderboard were something of a surprise.
True to his word during the event, Adam Scott never gave up and shot a final round 6-under 64, finishing just two behind Spieth. Even with Scott on 3-under and the real surprise packet of the tournament was 21 year old Aussie Cameron Smith. [Read: Doors open for Cameron Smith after inspiring 2015 US Open performance]
After struggling so much on Saturday due to vertigo attacks, Day (74) just couldn’t keep up with what was described as a “superhuman” effort to share the overnight lead. But he did still finished in the top ten – on even par at T9 – to keep his incredible career strike rate in majors intact.
As well as the three Aussie golfers in the top ten already mentioned, there were plenty of other Aussie flags fluttering at the upper end of the leaderboard. John Senden (68) finished at 2-over tied for 14th; and Geoff Ogilvy (67) got some of the old silky class happening to close on 3-over at T18. (Marcus Fraser (74) finished at T64 while Marc Leishman and Kurt Barnes missed the cut.)
As for some of the other notables in the field, Tiger Woods went home early (missed cut by a long distance), Rory McIlroy (66, even par at T9) made a run at it in the final round but couldn’t add to his six birdies after the 13th, and local sentimental favourite Phil Mickelson opened with a 69 in the first round but never threatened again (T64).
So another major is done and dusted. Aussie fans are left to rue what might have been …. and to perhaps grudgingly acknowledge a fine performance by the winner.
Next major up is the British Open at St Andrews from July 16 to 19. Put a dollar in jar every time you see or hear a story along the lines of: “Can Jordan Spieth make it three in a row?” You won’t accumulate enough for a Ferrari but you’ll probably have enough for quite a few beers.
2015 US Open Final Round Highlights: PGA Tour Video2015 US Open Leaderboard