Fresh Coat - Sunday, March 15
Covering the Valspar Championship Daily
In a dramatic conclusion to an epic three-way, three-hole playoff, Jordan Spieth became just the fourth player in PGA TOUR history to win twice before his 22nd birthday at the 2015 Valspar Championship presented by BB&T. It was the climax of a week that saw extraordinarily competitive golf, exceptional weather and engaged record crowds.
The victory came at the 17th hole on a 28-foot birdie putt that put him ahead of playoff competitors Patrick Reed and Sean O’Hair. In the process, Spieth displaced O’Hair, who won in 2008, as the youngest winner in the 15-year history of the event.
Spieth’s win came at a hole where he already had history. “My favorite hole maybe I’ve ever played,” he said as he also recalled a birdie from off the green at the hole that went a long way towards granting him PGA TOUR playoff privileges when he finished 7th as a 19-year-old in 2013.
The playoff, the second in tournament history, climaxed a long and winding day in which third round leader Ryan Moore appeared to take command of the tournament with an eagle two at the par-four 6th hole. But in the end, he was in 5th place, one back of Henrik Stenson who nearly made it a four-man playoff. It was Spieth, Reed and O’Hair who ended up deadlocked at 10 under par.
Getting into the playoff was difficult for Spieth as he had to get up and down on 17 and 18 for par. “I would rank those definitely in the Top 5 I’ve ever had given the lies and the scenario and the green to work with.”
Moore’s lead actually was 3 shots with 6 holes to play and Spieth hoping for extra holes. “When I was on 13 I was just, if I could be in a playoff. That’s what I was like walking to 13. I was three down.”
“If we can get two birdies, there’s a chance Ryan might drop a shot and we can get in a playoff that way.” Spieth would get his birdies on 13 and 14 and Moore ended up dropping three shots and missing the playoffs.
O’Hair, who was in the tournament on a sponsor exemption, made the playoff with a closing 67. Reed, who shot 66, made a 30-foot birdie putt on 18 to be the first in the clubhouse at 10-under.
With the win, Spieth moves to 7th in FedEx Cup Standings and 6th in the OWGR…Spieth has also already moved past $10 million in career earnings…Spieth joins Tiger Woods, Sergio Garcia and Robert Gamez as only players since 1940 to win 2 PGA TOUR events prior to his 22nd birthday…During the course of his round, Spieth was as many as 2 shots ahead and as many as 3 back…O’Hair lipped out for birdie on second playoff hole (#16) that would have made him the third two-time champion of this event along with K.J. Choi and Retief Goosen…Vijay Singh (-4) finished T10 for his second Top 10 in a PGA TOUR event since turning 50. The other was the Frys.com Open in October 2013.
Our sincerest thanks to all who attended, to our sponsors and to our wonderful volunteers.