Spieth closes strong for first Texas win
FORT WORTH, Texas — Jordan Spieth found the perfect cure for his Masters misery.
With an impressive back nine at Colonial, Spieth won at home in Texas for the first time on the PGA Tour. He had three consecutive birdies after making the turn, and three more in a row to finish his 5-under 65 on Sunday, including a chip-in birdie from behind the 17th green after a fortunate bounce off a marshal.
"In our third tournament back, to come back and close this one out the way we did is really, really special," Spieth said. "This day is a moment that'll go down, no matter what happens in the next 30 years of my career, this will be one of the most important days that I've ever had."
The second-ranked Spieth punctuated his eighth career victory with a 34-foot birdie putt when he needed only a bogey to win the Dean & Deluca Invitational.
At 17-under 263, Spieth finished three strokes ahead of Harris English (66). Colonial member Ryan Palmer and Webb Simpson tied for third at 13 under, both shooting 68 in the final group with Spieth.
Last month at Augusta, Spieth blew a five-stroke lead on the back nine when trying to win the Masters for the second year in a row. There was then an extended break before he missed the cut at The Players Championship and then finished tied for 18th a week ago at the Byron Nelson before finally winning in the Lone Star State after three runner-up finishes there, including Colonial last year.
"The significance of it happening now ... because I wasn't sure how long it would take to get over the hurdle of having to come in to every single interview room, having to listen to crowds only talk about what happened a month ago," he said. "And it's very difficult, and I'm 22. It's not like I hadn't won, and we've won two majors."
He is the reigning U.S. Open champion, and will be trying to defend that title at Oakmont in three weeks.
Spieth started Sunday at Hogan's Alley with nine consecutive pars, including a 32-footer at the par-3 eighth after hitting his first shot into heavy rough.
Nearly two months before his 23rd birthday, Spieth broke a tie with Tiger Woods for wins at age 22 or younger. The only player with more that young was Horton Smith with 14 from 1928-30.
CHAMPIONS: At Benton Harbor, Mich., Rocco Mediate holed out from a greenside bunker for birdie on the par-3 17th to wrap up a record-setting, wire-to-wire victory Sunday in the Senior PGA Championship.
Smoking cigars during the round, the 53-year-old Mediate closed with a 5-under 66 — holing a 15-footer for par on the last at Jack Nicklaus-designed Harbor Shores, for a three-stroke victory over two-time defending champion Colin Montgomerie.
Mediate finished at 19-under 265 to break the tournament record of 268 set by Sam Snead in 1973 at PGA National. The six-time PGA Tour winner became the first wire-to-wire winner in the event since Nicklaus in 1991 at PGA National. Mediate matched the course and tournament records with an opening 62 and added rounds of 66 and 71 to take a two-stroke lead over Montgomerie into the final round.
LPGA: At Ann Arbor, Mich., Ariya Jutanugarn became the first player to win three straight LPGA Tour events in three years, closing with a 5-under 67 for a five-stroke victory in the Volvik Championship.
The 20-year-old Jutanugarn is the first player since Inbee Park in 2013 to win three consecutive tournaments and the first ever to make their first three career victories consecutive.
Jutanugarn finished at 15-under 273 at Travis Pointe after starting the day with a one-shot edge thanks to a closing eagle in the third round.
Christina Kim was second after a 71. Jessica Korda (72) and Canada's Brooke Henderson (68) tied for third at 9 under.