Spieth wins RBC Heritage in play-off against Cantlay

By Sports Desk April 17, 2022

Jordan Spieth clinched the RBC Heritage title after winning the first hole of a play-off against Patrick Cantlay.

Spieth started strong with two eagles from the first five holes, and trailing by two strokes heading to the 18th, he needed a birdie to keep things interesting. He delivered, finishing one stroke off Shane Lowry's outright lead at the time.

Lowry looked poised to control proceedings down the second nine, before a botched chip ended up rolling into the water on 14 for a double-bogey, going from one stroke in the lead to joining the chasing pack at 12 under.

Cantlay shot a tidy 68, which included a birdie on 17 to grab a share of Spieth's lead, and missed a birdie putt on 18 for the win.

In the play-off on 18, both players found the bunker in their approaches to the green, but while Spieth had a relatively friendly lie, Cantlay's ball was plugged deep into the sand.

Spieth's bunker shot was terrific, giving him a tap-in par, while Cantlay's sailed 30 feet past the hole and could not pull off the miracle required to force a second play-off hole.

The win is Spieth's first in over a year since the 2021 Valero Texas Open, and his first since becoming a father. He was greeted by his wife and son on the 18th green after the triumph.

"Last week [at the Masters] was really a killer for me, my favourite tournament in the world, not making the weekend, so I tried to work a little extra here," Spieth said. "It feels amazing.

"I won this tournament without a putter! This is one of the worst tournaments I've putted that I've stayed in contention. I just tried to stay positive on the back nine today, gritty.

"I have a lot of belief in my putting. The fact that I feel like I can get it done in an off-week is a really good feeling, so I know what I need to work on in the next few weeks to get ready for the rest of the season."

Sepp Straka threatened to join the playoff after he moved into a share of the lead at 13 under with an outrageous long birdie putt on 17, but had to take a bogey on 18 after a poor approach to the green had him flirting with out-of-bounds territory.

Harold Varner III also had a chance to join Spieth and Cantlay with a 40-foot putt on the 18th hole, but narrowly missed.

Joining the seven-player group tied for third was Cam Davis, who shot a bogey-free 63 for the best round of the day, as well as JT Poston.

Erik van Rooyen had the outright lead early in the day after birdieing four consecutive holes starting on the second, but four bogeys on the back nine took him out of the hunt – the South African tying for 10th with Tommy Fleetwood at 11 under.

Collin Morikawa shot his best score of the week with a 68, but it included a triple-bogey on the par-three 17th to finish at seven under in a tie for 26th with Kevin Na and Maverick McNealy.

Justin Thomas was one shot further back at six under after his 67 gave him his best round of the week.

Reigning champion Stewart Cink was disappointing after a 67 in round one, following it with rounds of 75, 71 and 74.

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