Jordan Spieth wins second Australia Open after play-off

Two-time major champion edges Ashley Hall and Cameron Smith in sudden-death showdown in Sydney

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 20 November, 2016, 4:42pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 20 November, 2016, 9:19pm

Two-time major champion Jordan Spieth won the Australian Open for the second time in three years after defeating Ashley Hall and Cameron Smith in a sudden-death play-off in Sydney on Sunday.

Spieth won at the first play-off hole with a 12-foot birdie putt on the 18th green at Royal Sydney Golf Club as Hall was unable to convert from eight feet to extend the play-off.

The world No 5 shot a final round three-under-par 69 to join clubhouse leaders Hall and Smith at 12-under-par, needing a par putt from seven feet on the 72nd hole to get into the play-off.

Smith, who shot a final round 66, missed a 40-foot birdie putt in the play-off.

“We made the putts at the very end that mattered,” said American former world No 1 Spieth.

“I didn’t have much confidence in my swing on the last couple of holes today in regulation and was able to calm down in between.”

The 2015 US Masters and US Open champion carded six birdies and three bogeys in his final round and moved to 12-under when he holed a 40-foot birdie putt at the par-five 16th.

Spieth’s victory is his first since May and comes two years after his scintillating final round 63 at The Australian Golf Club in 2014 which gave him his first Australian Open victory by six shots.

“The way we played the play-off, I think it’s going to do wonders for me,” Spieth said. “I’d been in a little bit of a stall hitting shots when they mattered.

“I’ve cut out a lot of overseas travel this year but we still came here because that’s how important this event is to us.”

Hall and Smith both secured starts in next year’s Open Championship at Royal Birkdale, while the third spot in golf’s oldest major went to fellow countryman Jason Scrivener.

He finished at 10-under in a tie for fourth with Australians Rod Pampling, Aaron Baddeley and Geoff Ogilvy, and New Zealander Ryan Fox.

Local favourite Adam Scott started Sunday four shots off the pace but the 2013 US Masters champion fired a one-over 73 to drop into a tie for 14th at six-under.