By Jay Betsill
Jordan Spieth fired a career best 8-under 63 on Sunday to top the strong field and win the Australian Open by six strokes. His impressive victory made him the first American to win the Australian Open since Brad Faxon in 1993, when the 21-year-old Spieth was four months old.
“It’s the best round I have ever played, especially considering the conditions,” Spieth said. “It was just kind of one of those rounds when you’re in the zone and you’re not sure what you’re at. It’s nice that it came on a Sunday.”
Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial champion Adam Scott finished fifth, nine strokes back and defending champion and world No. 1 Rory McIlroy, who shot a 76 on Saturday, ended up 15 strokes behind Spieth.
McIlroy took to Twitter to congratulate Spieth: “You could give me another 100 rounds today at The Australian and I wouldn’t sniff 63…. Well done @JordanSpieth very impressive!”
Spieth and two-time Australian Open champion Greg Chalmers were tied for the lead at 6-under after four holes when Spieth birdied the par-5 fifth and Chalmers made bogey. The two-shot swing put Spieth ahead for good.
It was Spieth’s first win of 2014 and second of his pro career following the John Deere Classic in a playoff win on the PGA Tour in the summer of 2013.
Spieth will be playing next week in the Hero World Challenge. The strong field includes Tiger Woods, Rickie Fowler, Keegan Bradley, Jason Day, Jim Furyk, Bubba Watson, Steve Stricker, Henrik Stenson, Matt Kuchar, Justin Rose, FedEx Cup champion Billy Horschel and defending champion Zach Johnson. The event that was previously contested in California at Sherwood Country Club and has relocated to Isleworth Golf and Country Club in Florida is known to many simply as Tiger’s tournament.