When Jordan Spieth lipped out a 1.5-foot putt on the 18th hole to close out his third round with a disappointing bogey, it seemed as if the RBC Heritage had slipped out of his fingertips. Instead of starting his final round just two strokes back of the lead, he now had a three-shot deficit to make up in 18 holes.
But thanks to a Sunday 66, that’s exactly what he did.
Spieth ended up defeating Patrick Cantlay in a playoff for his first PGA Tour victory in a year, but it might not have been possible without seven words of wise advice from his wife, Annie.
Jordan Spieth was extremely frustrated with his missed gimme on Saturday
Spieth put himself in contention at the RBC Heritage this past weekend with a 3-under 68 in the third round. It really should’ve been a 4-under 67, though.
On the 18th hole, Spieth stuck his approach shot to 12 feet to set up a great birdie chance. Not only did he miss the putt, but he rushed his 18-inch tap-in and lipped out to finish with a demoralizing bogey.
“I was about as upset after the round yesterday as I’ve ever been in a golf tournament,” Spieth told reporters after Sunday’s final round, per the New York Post.
It must’ve been a frustrating night for Spieth, but he came out firing on Sunday and caught the leaders to notch his first win since last year’s Valero Texas Open. He has his wife to thank for that.
Spieth’s wife helped him rebound and win the RBC Heritage
After finishing his third round on a sour note, Spieth returned to Harbour Town Golf Links the following day and put his blunder behind him. He eagled two of the first five holes and went out in 32 to put himself right at the top of the leaderboard. A redemptive birdie on the 18th hole got him to 13-under par for the tournament.
The rest of the contenders faltered down the stretch, and only Cantlay was able to match Spieth at 13-under. In the playoff, Spieth played a beautiful bunker shot to seven inches on the 18th hole. He took his time on this one, and after Cantlay failed to get up and down from the same bunker, Spieth emerged victorious.
Throughout his final round, Spieth missed only one putt inside of five feet. He didn’t take any tap-in for granted, and that was because of the advice his wife, Annie, gave him Saturday night.
“Annie told me last night, ‘You need to take five seconds now’ — and she never comments on my golf — ‘You need to take 5 seconds, if you miss a putt, before you hit your tap-in.’ So, I thought about it today,” Spieth said Sunday. “There were a couple times I was just going to rake it, and I was like, no, I’ve got to take five seconds.”
After following his wife’s advice to victory, Spieth was able to celebrate on the 18th green with Annie and his son, Sammy. The win marked his first as a father and the 13th of his PGA Tour career.
Back where he belongs
Thanks to his win at the RBC Heritage, Spieth jumped from 20th in the Official World Golf Ranking to 10th. It’s the first time he’s been back inside the top 10 since last October.
Spieth fell to as low as 92nd in the OWGR just last year, but two wins in the last 12 months have him right back where he belongs. Let’s hope he can keep up this impressive play leading up to next month’s PGA Championship at Southern Hills.