JORDAN SPIETH showed his class on and off the course at Royal Sydney on Sunday with a fighting playoff victory followed by the kind of crowd pleasing graciousness he has become renowned for.
The 23 year old Texan became the latest big name to become a multiple Australian Open winner then won over the big Aussie audience with his excited tale of climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge on Saturday night and watching some fireworks.
Spieth obviously genuinely enjoys his Australian visits, he has been here three years in a row now for two wins and a second, and seemed sincere in his wish to return next year – if circumstances allow.
“We love coming here. I certainly plan on (coming back)…but how can you argue with coming here and getting the confidence we get out of this event,” Spieth said.
“I have cut out a lot of overseas travel this year, but we still came here. That’s how important this event is to us. I haven’t gone anywhere else.
“Even if overseas travel is trimmed down, we still like coming here and plan to.”
Halfway through the final round it seemed that overnight leader Geoff Ogilvy would be the one to collect a second Stonehaven Cup.
Playing in the final group with double winner Aaron Baddeley, the Victorian got to a three stroke lead by the eight hole, but later said he was just “getting away with it” because his swing wasn’t there all day.
Ogilvy said he had a “brain fade” on the 9th and put his tee shot in the middle of trees (pictured below), then he never seemed to be out of bunkers or twisting his body around tree trunks to return to the fairways.
Spieth meanwhile slipped back to five behind the lead at one stage but said later he was always calculating on how he could make up the deficit.
It was all over for Ogilvy (73) when he bogeyed 15 then had a double on 16.
He finished on 10 under while Spieth (69) birdied 16 and sunk a clutch par on the last to join Aussies Cameron Smith (66) and Ashley Hall (66) on 12-under.
Spieth impressed himself, he said later, with his two pressure swings on the 18th in the sudden death playoff.
He putt a hybrid tee shot in the centre of the fairway, hit a nine from 138 metres out to about 4 metres and promptly slotted the putt home.
Dual runners up Smith and Hall were somewhat compensated for their loss with starts in the 2017 British Open at Royal Birkdale.
Ogilvy wasn’t impressed with his final round game: “It’s one of those things; a bit of a sour taste for the end of the year.”
Jordan Spieth Winner’s Media Conference 2016 Australian Open: VideoAustralian Open Final Scores