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Spieth earns fourth win of year

SILVIS, Ill. — Jordan Spieth made it a lot tougher on himself than it needed to be.

In the end, Spieth got exactly what he was looking for from the John Deere Classic: a win and some positive energy ahead of the British Open.

Spieth beat Tom Gillis on the second hole of a playoff to win at TPC Deere Run on Sunday for his fourth victory of the season.

Gillis and Spieth, who opened the tournament with an even-par 71, finished the final round at 20-under 264. Zach Johnson and Danny Lee tied for third at 19 under.

"To be able to shoot 20-under in three rounds is nice momentum," Spieth said. "The finish, when I really didn't feel like tee to green I had much (Sunday), gives me a lot of momentum to draw on if I don't have my best stuff. "

The 46-year-old Gillis, who was attempting to become the oldest first-time winner on the PGA Tour in 20 years, sent an approach into the water. Spieth made par for his second win at this tournament in three years.

Now Spieth heads to the British Open in search of his third consecutive major championship.

Spieth is the first golfer to win four times before the Open Championship since Tiger Woods in 2000 — and he silenced many of the critics who questioned why he played this tournament instead of heading overseas early to prepare for St. Andrews.

"I really didn't care anyways. I came here for a reason, and we accomplished that reason," Spieth said.

After shooting a career-best 10 under on Saturday, Spieth entered the final round with a two-shot lead.

But the field caught up to Spieth when he turned in a pedestrian front nine.

Spieth bogeyed two of his first three holes and was soon passed by the likes of Gillis and Johnson. Spieth was even at the turn and two shots back of Gillis, who in 171 previous PGA Tour starts had only finished in the top three twice.

Spieth's low point was a bogey on the par-4 11th hole after a putt from the fringe went left.

But Gillis played his final six holes at even par. Spieth roared back into contention with four birdies in five holes, including a 21-foot chip from the fringe on No. 16.

Spieth had a 30-foot putt for the win on No. 18, but he pushed it left. He nearly won on the first hole of the playoff, but his 33-foot try lipped out.

Even though Spieth ultimately outlasted the field, he knows he has some work to do — specifically with his driver, which abandoned him at times this weekend — if he hopes to make it three majors in a row.

"I need to fine tune my driver. I love where my putter is at. My pace control, my speed is awesome right now," Spieth said.

Gillis matched Spieth with a par on the first hole in sudden death. But a tee shot that went into the rough led to a shot in the water, effectively ending his bid for an elusive victory.

Gillis shot a 7-under 64 in the final round.

"When you're going to be 47, the window is closing," Gillis said. "What I saw (Sunday) and the last three days, I'd have to say makes me think I've still got some tread on the tires left."

U.S. WOMEN’S OPEN: At Lancaster, Pa., South Korea's In Gee Chun birdied four of the last seven holes to rally for a one-stroke victory at the U.S. Women's Open.

The 20-year old Chun shot a 4-under 66 in the final round and finished at 8 under, becoming the first player to win her U.S. Open debut since Birdie Kim in 2005. It was her fifth victory this year.

Third-round leader Amy Yang struggled in the middle of her round and then pulled within one by going eagle-birdie at Nos. 16 and 17. But she bogeyed the 18th and fell a stroke short.

Playing in the final group on the last day of the championship for the third time in four years, Yang squandered a three-stroke lead and settled for a 1-over 71 and second at 273.

Two-time champion and top-ranked Inbee Park (67) overcame putting woes and rallied late, tying for third with Stacy Lewis (70) at 5-under 275.

Defending champion Michelle Wie battled hip and leg injuries and limped in with an even-par 70, placing 11th at 2-under 278.

With most of the focus on the final pairing of Yang and Lewis, Chun, playing a group ahead, quietly picked up strokes on the leaders. At 4 under heading into the final round at Lancaster Country Club, Chun picked up two strokes on the front nine, closing within two of the lead.

She got within a stroke with a birdie at the 12th, and then rolled in a nine-foot putt at No. 15 for the first of three straight birdies. She moved into the lead with a birdie at 16 as Yang and Lewis struggled. She added another birdie at the 17th to stretch her lead to two strokes.

At the troublesome 421-yard, uphill closing hole, Chun drove into the rough, chipped short and went on to make bogey, falling into a tie for the lead with Yang, who birdied 17.

But Yang failed again in her bid to claim the biggest prize in women's golf. She also drove into the rough at the last hole, chipped short of the green and failed to get up-and-down for par, giving Chun the win.

BOISE OPEN: At Boise, Idaho, Ashland native Jason Allred finished tied for 57th place after shooting a 5-under 66 in the Web.com Tour event.

Martin Piller completed a wire-to-wire victory for his fourth career Web.com title.

Piller shot a 4-under 67 at Hillcrest Country Club for a 28-under 256 total, the second-lowest 72-hole score in Web.com Tour history and the third-best mark in relation to par.

Allred’s day included six birdies to just one bogey.

Jordan Spieth hits his approach shot from the rough on the first playoff hole at the John Deere Classic Sunday. AP PHOTO