Spieth Turns Back Cantlay With Par on First Playoff Hole to Win RBC Heritage

Jordan Spieth made up for missing a tap-in par putt on the 18th hole at the end of the third round a day earlier at Harbour Town Golf Links, and he did it twice.

Spieth sank a 10-foot birdie putt on the final hole to shoot 5-under-par 66 and then got up-and-down for par from a greenside bunker on the same hole by making a similar putt to the one he missed to beat sixth-ranked Patrick Cantlay on the first playoff hole and win the 54th RBC Heritage.

Afterward, he donned the Tartan Jacket that goes to the winner.

“I won this golf tournament without a putter,” said Spieth, who claimed his 13th PGA Tour victory. “This is one of the worst tournaments I’ve putted that I’ve been in contention in. I just tried to stay gritty with it, be really positive on the back nine today.

“After a couple missed shortish puts on the front, I made one on 13, and that really settled me back down and just gave me the chance on 18. I’m most proud of the way I bounced back from yesterday. I was pretty negative after missing a tap-in here, getting lazy yesterday. I’m glad it didn’t affect it today.

“Last week was really a killer for me at my favorite tournament in the world (The Masters), not getting to play the weekend. So, I came in and worked extra hard here. … Felt really good to make a putt that mattered on 18 in regulation there. It feels amazing.”

Spieth, who also won on Easter Sunday last year at the Valero Texas Open, didn’t need his putter on the second hole because he sank a 57-yard bunker shot for an eagle and he hole a 24-foot putt for another eagle at No. 5 before adding three birdies against two bogeys while recording a 72-hole score of 13-under 271.

After finishing the final round, Spieth had to wait for about an hour for Cantlay to sink a nine-foot birdie putt at No. 17 before missing a 13-footer to win the tournament on the last hole, but his 68 pulled him even with Spieth and forced the playoff.

In the playoff, both players hit into the front bunker on No. 18 in the shadow of the Harbour Town Golf Links on Calibogue Sound, but Cantlay’s ball plugged in the sand. After Spieth hit his shot to within inches of the hole and made this one, Cantlay blasted his out but it rolled about 35 feet away and he couldn’t hole the comebacker to prolong the playoff.

“I had the same number in the fairway as in regulation and hit another good shot, but the wind knocked it down,” said Cantlay, from Los Alamitos and UCLA, who beat Bryson DeChambeau in a six-hole playoff last season in the BMW Championship before claiming the FedEx Cup by winning the Tour Championship. “The lie was pretty bad with the ball deep in the sand, but I gave it a shot.

“But feel like I’m playing really good golf right now and feeling good about my game with s lot of big tournaments coming up.”

Rookie Cameron Young, who held the first-round lead at 63, closed with 66 that included five birdies on the front nine to finish one stroke back in a big tie for third with 2019 Open champion Shane Lowry of Ireland (69), 2014 RBC Heritage champion Matt Kuchar (68), J.T. Poston (64), Cam Davis of Australia (63), 54-hole leader Harold Varner III (70) and Sepp Straka of Austria (68).

Tommy Fleetwood of England followed his third-round 64 with a 68 and wound up in a tie for 10th with Erik van Rooyen of South Africa, who was right in the hunt after making four straight birdies through No. five, but he made four bogeys on the back in a 70.

Second-ranked Collin Morikawa of La Canada Flintridge shot 68 to tie for 26th, eight-ranked Justin Thomas tied for 35th after a 67, and Stewart Cink, the defending champion and three-time RBC Heritage winner, struggled to a 74 and wound up solo 68th.

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