SI cover: Jordan Spieth two majors away from history
Jordan Spieth calmly walked to the 18th tee at the 115th U.S. Open at Chambers Bay Golf Course in Washington on Sunday with a chance to make history.
Nothing in the previous 17 holes of the final round suggested anything special was going to happen or the drama that ensued on the next hole as Spieth couldn't get putts to fall, going even par through the first 17 holes.
Spieth came to the 18th green soon to be tied with Dustin Johnson, who birdied No. 17 shortly after Spieth had made a double-bogey mess of the 218-yard par-3.
But Spieth, who is on the national cover of this week's Sports Illustrated, clipped in for birdie at the par-5, 601-yard 18th and sat and waited like the rest of the nation to see what unfolded next.
Enter Johnson, a 31-year old with nine career PGA Tour victories but no majors, who was poised to at least send the tournament into a playoff.
But his stunning three-putt from 12 feet for a par on 18 left him with a final round score of 70 and handed Spieth his second major of the year.
Johnson had a two-stroke lead going into the back nine but within quick order lost it with bogeys on three of the next four holes.
Spieth, the world’s second-ranked player, doesn’t turn 22 until next month. After his dominating four-shot victory at Augusta in April and taking home the U.S. Open Championship Trophy, he joined rare company.
He is the youngest U.S. Open champion since Bobby Jones in 1923 and the first golfer in 13 years (Tiger Woods) to a score a victory in the first two major tournaments of the year.
In the post-Masters era, no man has ever achieved a modern Grand Slam of winning all four majors in a calendar year.
Spieth has put golf world on notice since the Masters victory, but the drama surrounding Sunday’s final put the focus back on the youth movement of the sport, despite players complaining about the course conditions of Chambers Bay.
"I'm still in shock," Spieth said. "You only get a few moments in your life like this. And to have two in one year, that's hard to wrap my head around."
For more on Spieth, check out Alan Shipnuck's story in this week’s Sports Illustrated (subscribe here).
Also in this issue: features on Golden State Warriors guard and NBA MVP Stephen Curry, top hockey prospect Connor McDavid, the surprising Houston Astros and a special report on how the millennial generation is impacting sports.
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