Nineteen year old, Jordan Spieth became the youngest PGA Tour winner in 82 years after his playoff victory at the John Deere Classic. For those who have followed the former University of Texas stalwart, the victory is not a surprise but they just did not expect it to come so soon.
Spieth wearing Contour Casual, closed the final round of his tournament with a 65, thanks to a miraculous bunker shot which he holed for birdie on the last hole of regulation play. His 19 under par total was good enough to enter a playoff with defending and former major champion Zach Johnson (DryJoys Tour and StaSof) and David Hearn (FJ Sport).
On the first hole of the sudden death playoff, all three players exchanged pars. Playing the 18th again, for the third time, Johnson narrowly missed a birdie on the high side of the hole and tapped in for par. His playing competitors also made pars to extend the match. On the next two playoff holes, all three players made pars, again, to continue the playoff.
Now on the 18th tee for the fourth time, each player missed the fairway wide right and would have to scramble to have any hope at capturing the win. Spieth had the most direct line to the green and hit a low running seven iron that bounded just over the green to the back fringe. After Spieth putted to within a few feet of the hole, Hearn had a tricky par putt to extend the playoff. Hearn missed giving Spieth a short putt for the win, which he duly converted, making him one of the youngest PGA Tour winners in history.
The win earns Spieth an exemption to next week's Open Championship, next year’s Masters® Tournament, and a two-year exemption on the PGA Tour.
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Castle Stuart is blessed with fantastic weather this week and we're blessed to be here:
A very popular spot this week for the Open de France at Le Golf National, Paris:
Being no stranger to the big stage, the 2011 Fedex Cup Champion, Bill Haas claimed victory at the ever challenging Congressional Country Club.
Beginning the day in a four way tie for first place, Haas wearing FJ Sport, knew he could not just make pars to take the title and the 31 year old made an early birdie at the second before giving a stroke back to par at the 5th.
Even par for the day heading into the 8th, Haas rolled in a 12 foot birdie to reach 8 under for the tournament. On the following hole, Haas hit another brilliant approach setting up another birdie. Then on the treacherous par 3 tenth, the American rolled in his third consecutive birdie to take a two shot lead over fellow FJ Staffer Roberto Castro (FJ ICON & StaSof).
Castro stuck with Haas over the back nine but could not close the lead. Haas led by at least two shots the entire back nine, though he never allowed himself to think about winning until he stood over a 3-foot par putt on the 18th hole and realised he had three putts to win.
"I just kept the ball in front of me,'' Haas said. "Nothing too crazy.'' Always humble, Haas adds a fifth PGA Tour win to his record and moves to 7th in the 2013 Fedex Cup race.
Haas relied on the lightweight stability of his FJ Sport golf shoes throughout the week.
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No purchase necessary, Void where prohibited, Open to UK & Ireland residents 18 years or older, FJ Wins, You Win offered from 9.01am on the 1st July 2013 to 11.59 on the 3rd July 2013.
An emotional Simon Thornton dedicated his maiden European Tour victory to his late father after the Irishman held his nerve to claim the Najeti Hotels et Golfs Open title in a play-off and fittingly on Father’s Day.
Thornton (FJ Sport & StaSof) holed several tricky putts on the back nine but left his best till last on the final hole, as he drained a ten-foot putt to take it to extra holes.
Under the most intense of pressure, the 36 year old rolled it into the cup and clenched his fist in celebration as he signed for a one under par 70.
He kept his cool once again in the play-off, finding the fringe of the green, The Irishman then rolled a perfectly-weighted putt from 30 feet which slid just left of the hole, ensuring his par and most importantly the win.
“It’s so big for me,” said a tearful Thornton. “On father’s day too, he passed away three years ago and it still hurts, but they are happy tears today. This is dedicated to him.”
“I didn’t play particularly well today in perfect conditions but I got up and down when I had to and holed good putts.”
“I didn’t put myself in position very well so I was scrambling but my short game held up. I've been working hard on my short game for a couple of years now so I'm delighted. I changed my putter and my putting technique last week too so it all came together this week.”
“On the last putt – I had been saying to myself all day, if I'm going to make it easy for myself you need to try on every putt and make sure it goes where you want to hit it – so I just picked a line and willed it in and it dropped.”
Thornton’s rise is an incredible story of progression to the top of European golf against all odds, as he was a seven handicap golfer just over a decade ago.
Born in Bradford, England, he moved to Ireland to become an Assistant Professional at Royal County Down Golf Club before rising through the Irish professional ranks to the Challenge Tour and then The European Tour.
“Hopefully this is a stepping stone for me,” he said. “I’ll go home this week now and celebrate, take a week off, and then play in the Irish Open.
“Last year was a huge disappointment on The European Tour after getting there through the Challenge Tour.
“To come here and play like I did is incredible. What happens now with this category is fantastic; it’s mad how things have changed. It’s surreal.”
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No purchase necessary, Void where prohibited, Open to UK & Ireland residents 18 years or older, FJ Wins, You Win offered from 9.01am on the 10th 2013 to 11.59 on the 13th June 2013.