Spieth proves clutch at Valspar
PALM HARBOR, Fla. — Jordan Spieth and his world-class short game came up big in a playoff victory Sunday at the Valspar Championship.
Spieth capped off an afternoon of back-nine charges, clutch putts and unseemly par saves by making a 30-foot birdie putt on the third extra hole of a playoff at Innisbrook to beat Ryder Cup teammates Patrick Reed and Sean O'Hair. The 21-year-old Spieth won for the second time in his PGA Tour career and fourth time worldwide to reach a career-high No. 6 in the world.
Spieth was three shots behind with six holes to play when he made two birdies to catch a faltering Ryan Moore, and then saved par on his final three holes for a 2-under 69 to join the playoff. And these par saves were not what anyone would call routine.
With his right foot in the bunker and his left foot on grass well above the ball in the sand, he blasted out to 3 feet on the 16th. From deep rough on a hill, he hit a flop shot to a short pin to 6 feet to stay tied for the lead. And he made a 12-foot par putt on 18 that fell in the left side of the cup.
Reed was the first to finish at 10-under 274, holing a 30-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole for a bogey-free 66. O'Hair closed with a 67. He had a 12-foot birdie putt for the win on the second extra hole, and the putt caught the right side of the cup.
Henrik Stenson was a stroke back after a 67.
Moore ended up fifth at 8 under after a 72.
WEB.COM BRASIL: At Sao Paulo, Ashland native Jason Allred shot a 4-under-par 67 to finish tied for 13th place at the Brasil Champions at Sao Paulo Golf Club.
His solid day included five birdies to just one bogey, which came on the 18th hole.
Allred finished at 16-under 268, six strokes behind winner Peter Malnati.
Allred claimed $15,017 for his efforts.
Malnati took home his second Web.com Tour title, birdying the final three holes for a 5-under 66 and a four-stroke victory.
Malnati finished at 22-under 262 and earned $153,000. The former University of Missouri player also won the tour's News Sentinel Open in Knoxville, Tennessee.
WORLD LADIES CHAMPIONSHIP: At Haikou, China, South Korea's So Yeon Ryu won the Ladies European Tour's World Ladies Championship, beating defending champion Inbee Park by a stroke.
Ryu, the 2011 U.S. Women's Open champion, closed with a 4 under 69 to finish at 13-under 279 on Mission Hills' Blackstone Course. The second-ranked Park, also from South Korea, finished with a 71.