Apr 18th, 2022
Jordan Speith wins RBC Heritage in a playoff
American beats countryman Patrick Cantlay at first extra hole
Words: GolfPunk Photography: Getty Images
-13 J Spieth (US), P Cantlay (US); -12 S Lowry (Ire), C Davis (Aus), JT Poston (US), M Kucher (US), H Varner III, C Young (US), S Straka (Aut)
Spieth almost holed out from the greenside bunker at the par-4 18th and had a simple tap in for par. Cantlay from the same bunker could only splash out from a plugged lie to 25 feet past the cup and missed the putt to extend the playoff.
"I felt in a good place. Just needed to give myself a chance," Spieth said after his win.
Cantlay had followed Speith into the bunker at the first extra hole missing the green with just a nine iron in his hand.
"It caught a different wind than what I was expecting," Cantlay said.
"Obviously with it plugged like that, it was darn near impossible to get it close."
Speith, who trailed overnight leader Harold Varner III by three shots, carded a final-round five-under, 66 to post a thirteen-under-par total. However, a win was looking unlikely as out on the course Shane Lowry of Ireland was sitting in pole position and South Africa's Erik van Rooyen was level with Speith with holes to play.
Lowry posted a disastrous double-bogey at the par-three 14th to fall back to twelve-under and Van Rooyen also leaked shots leaving Cantlay as the only challenger to Speith. Cantlay posted a birdie at the short 17th to join Speith in lead but missed his thirteen-foot birdie putt at the last as he closed with a three-under 68.
The playoff victory gave Speith his thirteenth PGA Tour victory and his first since the Texas Open last April, also on Easter Sunday. The 28-year-old American was happy to learn that next year's Masters will also finish on Easter Sunday, a very welcome treble.
"That's good vibes," said Spieth, whose missed the cut last week at Augusta National.
"I never missed a cut at the Masters before and very rarely had not had a chance to win on the weekend. So I hated it."
Several other players had opportunities to overtake Spieth while he sat in the clubhouse. Sepp Straka of Austria had birdied the 17th to join the lead and proceeded to bogey the final hole to finish in a large group in joint third on twelve-under.
Overnight leader Harold Varner III was also one of the seven players finishing in tied third after he closed with a disappointing round of 70.
England's Tommy Fleetwood finished a further shot back alongside van Rooyen in a share of tenth on twelve-under-par.