Golf: Jordan Spieth wins Australian Open twice in three years
World No. 5 becomes second American after legendary Jack Nicklaus to clinch multiple Australian Open crowns
American Jordan Spieth celebrates his Australian Open win in Sydney yesterday. Pic/Getty Images
Sydney: World No. 5 Jordan Spieth won the Australian Open for the second time in three years after a three-man play-off at Royal Sydney Golf Club.
Spieth birdied the first extra hole to beat home favourites Cameron Smith and Ashley Hall after the trio had finished tied on 12 under par.
Hall had a chance to match Spieth's birdie from closer to the hole, but pushed his attempt wide to ensure the two-time major winner became the second American after Jack Nicklaus to win the title multiple times.
Smith and Hall had the consolation of securing places in next year's Open Championship at Royal Birkdale along with compatriot Aaron Baddeley, who finished in a five-way tie for fourth.
Baddeley edged out Rod Pampling, Jason Scrivener, Ryan Fox and Geoff Ogilvy by virtue of his superior world ranking. Ogilvy began the day with a two-shot lead, but the former US Open champion crucially bogeyed the 15th and ran up a double bogey on the next on his way to a closing 73.
Spieth (23) recovered from three bogeys in four holes around the turn to card a final round of 69, with Smith and Hall both shooting 66.
"We made the putts at the very end that mattered," American former world number one Spieth said.
"I had a chance last year on 18 (to force a playoff) and didn't hit a great putt and this time I had that same chance with a very similar putt in the playoff and capitalised so I drew back on that a little.
"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," he added.
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