Jordan Spieth rolled in a 10-foot birdie on the 18th hole in regulation, thinking he would have a shot for a playoff.
In a playoff to win the RBC Heritage, he hit an even larger shot at Harbour Town’s hallmark hole. Spieth’s 56-foot approach from a greenside bunker fell 7 inches short of the hole, and he defeated Patrick Cantlay with a tap-in par on the lighthouse hole on Sunday to win his 13th PGA Tour title and second consecutive on Easter Sunday.
Spieth explained that there are moments when you believe you’ve played well but aren’t quite good enough to win a tournament. Spieth was confident he’d be passed by Cantlay, the FedEx Cup champion, Shane Lowry, a previous Open Championship winner, or Harold Varner III, the third-round leader.
According to sources, Spieth went out to loosen up after Cantlay, who was tied for the lead after a birdie on the 17th, shot his approach on the green on his final round of regulation, convinced he’d be called back after Cantlay made the winning putt. Cantlay also shot into the front bunker in the playoff, his lie like a cooked egg. In the playoff, Cantlay was 179 yards from the hole and played the same 9-iron he had in regulation.
Spieth, who was three shots behind Varner going into the round, eagled both front-nine par-5s to come back into contention. Spieth, a three-time major champion who won the Masters in 2015, remarked, “That’s wonderful feelings.” At the 2017 Travelers Championship, he defeated Daniel Berger with a greenside bunker shot on the first extra hole. Others had a chance to catch Spieth, including Cantlay, who missed a 15-footer for birdie on his 72nd hole. With a birdie on the 17th, Straka equalled Spieth for the lead at 13 under but bogeyed the 18th as his approach found some gnarly tall grass in front of the green.
Varner had birdie opportunities on each of his final four holes, but he failed to convert any of them. Because it occurs following the always-gruelling Masters week, Spieth had only played the tournament three times since 2015.