Spieth dispatches Masters nightmare with Colonial win

Sun May 29, 2016 8:34pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Jordan Spieth exhibited his short-game wizardry with six back-nine birdies to claim the Colonial tournament on Sunday for his eighth career PGA Tour victory before his 23rd birthday, an impressive run that is one better than Tiger Woods managed at that age.

The emphatic win not only gave Spieth, who turns 23 on July 27, his first win in his home state after three second-place showings in Texas, but the performance came in his third start since his back-nine collapse at the Masters last month.

He carded a closing 65 at the Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth for a 17-under total of 263, good for a three-shot cushion over fellow American Harris English (66).

“To come back in only our third tournament and close it out is really, really special,” Spieth said.

“I’m already looking back, thinking this will be a very important day to get back on top and be in the winner’s circle.

"As a golfer and as a person I can always look back on this experience and say we were strong in what shouldn’t have been tough times, but were tough times.”

Only the late Horton Smith, with 14, recorded more wins than Spieth at 22 or younger.

Spieth, the world number two, opened with three straight birdies on his back nine and closed with three straight birdies. On his final three holes, he curled in a 20-foot birdie putt, chipped in from 40 feet and punctuated his performance with a 35-foot putt on the closing hole.

He also received a little help from the golfing gods. With a one-stroke lead on 17, Spieth received a break when his pulled tee shot glanced off the leg of a marshal and finished in the first cut of rough. He drilled his approach shot over the green and received a free drop from a grandstand.   Continued...

May 29, 2016; Fort Worth, TX, USA; Jordan Spieth tees off on the 3rd hole of the final round of the 2016 Dean & Deluca Invitational at Colonial Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports