Spieth wins John Deere Classic, Fowler wins Scottish Open

Jordan Spieth  silenced the critics who questioned why he played this tournament instead of heading overseas early to prepare for St. Andrews. Photo Courtesy: Erik Charlton
Jordan Spieth silenced critics who questioned why he played in the John Deere Classic instead of heading overseas early to prepare for St. Andrews. Photo Courtesy: Erik Charlton

By Jay Betsill

Jordan Spieth wins John Deere Classic

While facing questions about why he was playing in the Quad Cities with the chance to win the third leg of a calendar grand slam, Masters and U.S. Open champion Jordan Spieth kept his commitment to play in the John Deere Classic and left the TPC Deere Run with his fourth PGA Tour win of the season.

“To be able to shoot 20-under in three rounds is nice momentum,” said Spieth, who bested 46-year-old Gillis on the second playoff hole. “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 fifth PGA Tour win of Spieth’s career was his second triumph at the John Deere Classic.

Gillis, who fired a final round 64 to get in the mix has the consolation of getting the last spot into The Open Championship. It will be his first major appearance since the 2011 PGA Championship.

“When you’re going to be 47, the window is closing,” said Gillis, who shot a 7-under 64 in the final round. “What I saw today and the last three days, I’d have to say makes me think I’ve still got some tread on the tires left.”

Danny Lee, coming off his first PGA Tour win last week at the Greenbrier Classic, had a penalty stoke on No. 4 and ended up finishing one shot out of the playoff.

Notables in the field included Zach Johnson (T3, -19), Justin Thomas (T5, -18), Vijay Singh (T18, -12) and three-time champion Steve Stricker (T35, -9).

Rickie Fowler wins the Scottish Open

Two months after winning The Players Championship, Rickie Fowler birdied three of the last four holes for a 2-under 68 and a one-stroke win over Matt Kuchar in the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open. The fourth title of Fowler’s professional career saw the popular golfer take the lead for the first time on his last shot of the tournament.

“To win on a links golf course, my favorite style of golf, in Scotland and the week before The Open and going to St. Andrews, the home of golf, is great timing,” Fowler said. “I like my chances.”

Notables in the field included Luke Donald (T7, -9), Victor Dubuisson (T10, -8), Miguel Angel Jimenez (T10, -8), Brooks Koepka (T22, -6), Graeme McDowell (T31, -5), Ryan Palmer (T31, -5) and Phil Mickelson (T31, -5).

Next up is the season’s third major, the Open Championship at the Old Course at St. Andrews.