A groundsman prepares the 18th green ahead of the final round of the British Open Golf Championship, at Royal Birkdale, Southport, England, Sunday July 23, 2017. (AP Photo/Dave Thompson)
Dave Thompson
July 23, 2017

SOUTHPORT, England (AP) The Latest on the British Open (all times local):

6:35 p.m.

Jordan Spieth is the British Open champion.

Spieth used a remarkable string of holes on the back nine to hold off Matt Kuchar and win the third major championship of his career. He won by three shots - the same margin he started the day with - after a final round 1-under-69.

He played the last five holes in 5-under-par.

Spieth was behind by a shot after 13 holes when he went birdie-eagle-birdie-birdie to snatch the tournament away from Kuchar. The sizzling stretch of play came after he made an improbable bogey from the driving range after taking an unplayable penalty shot.

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6:20 p.m.

Jordan Spieth has a two-shot lead over Matt Kuchar with one hole to play after a wild back nine at the British Open.

Trying to win the Open for the first time, Spieth went birdie-eagle-birdie-birdie to seize command of a tournament he had seemed to be on the verge of throwing away.

Spieth's remarkable stretch of golf came after he made an improbable bogey on the 13th hole after taking an unplayable lie and playing off the driving range.

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6:00 p.m.

The massive crowds at the British Open are getting quite a show from Jordan Spieth.

After being on the verge of blowing the Open, Spieth came back birdie-eagle to take a one shot lead over Matt Kuchar with three holes to go at Royal Birkdale.

The eagle came on No. 15, where Spieth hit the green in two, then calmly sank a 50-footer for his 3. He pointed to his caddie and told him to get the ball out of the hole, pumped his fist, and walked off the green.

Kuchar made birdie himself, but the one-shot lead he held two holes earlier had been reversed.

Spieth led by three shots going into the final round, but lost the lead on the 13th hole where he made a remarkable bogey after taking an unplayable lie on the side of a sand dune.

Spieth is trying for his first British Open title.

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5:45 p.m.

Jordan Spieth is on a wild ride at the British Open, where he's once more tied for the lead.

Spieth somehow managed to make a bogey on the 13th hole after taking an unplayable lie, though he lost the lead to Matt Kuchar. It didn't last long, as he almost holed his tee shot on the next hole and made the birdie putt to tie Kuchar at 8 under.

Spieth, who blew a five-shot lead at the Masters last year, appeared on the verge of throwing away the Open, too. But the 4-footer he made on 14 brought him back even with Kuchar as the two battled down the stretch in the final twosome.

China's Li Haotong was in the clubhouse two shots out of the lead after making birdies on the last four holes for a 7-under-63

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5:30 p.m.

Matt Kuchar has taken the lead from Jordan Spieth at the British Open, thanks to a wildly errant tee shot that cost Spieth a penalty shot and led to a bogey on the 13th hole.

Spieth sliced his tee shot more than 60 yards right, over a tall sand dune near the driving range. He ended up taking an unplayable lie and hit his next shot from the driving range, near a Titleist truck.

The bizarre sequence played out in slow motion as Spieth took more than 20 minutes before hitting his shot. The 3-iron from the range was a blind shot that cleared the dune and ended up in front of a bunker short of the green.

Spieth then pitched up and made a 6-foot putt for a remarkable bogey.

Kuchar made par on the hole to stay 8 under.

China's Li Haotong was in the clubhouse two shots out of the lead after making birdies on the last four holes for a 7-under-63

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4:20 p.m.

There's a tie at the top midway through the final round of the British Open.

A two-stroke swing on the ninth hole evened things up, with Matt Kuchar catching Jordan Spieth, who had started the day three shots ahead.

Kuchar made a 6-footer for birdie on the ninth hole, and Spieth 3-putted, missing a short putt for par.

Spieth stumbled out of the blocks, making bogeys on three of the first four holes before steadying himself with a birdie on No. 5. But his bogey on the ninth hole gave him a 3-over-37 for the front, while Kuchar played it even par.

China's Li Haotong was in the clubhouse two shots out of the lead after making birdies on the last four holes for a 7-under-63. But, aside from Kuchar, no one out on the course was within less than four shots of the lead.

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3:30 p.m.

China's Li Haotong is suddenly in the mix at the British Open.

Li birdied his last four holes to shoot a 7-under-63 and move to 6 under in the final round at Royal Birkdale. He was three behind leader Jordan Spieth.

Li, who shot an 84 in the final round of the U.S. Open last month, hit his approach shot to just a few feet on the final hole to cap off his round. The 63 would have tied a record for major championship scoring if Branden Grace had not set a new record of 62 a day earlier.

Spieth, meanwhile, was stumbling early. A day after making no bogeys in shooting a 65 he bogeyed three of his first four holes and saw his three-shot lead evaporate as Kuchar moved into a tie.

But Spieth rebounded on the fifth hole, putting it to 5 feet and making birdie to regain the lead.

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3:05 p.m.

Matt Kuchar is suddenly only one stroke out of the lead in the British Open after Jordan Spieth bogeyed two of his first three holes.

A birdie from just a foot away on the second hole helped close what had been a three-shot gap between Kuchar and third round leader Spieth. Spieth had earlier bogeyed the first hole after hitting it into deep rough left of the fairway, and both players bogeyed the third.

The Open is shaping up to be a two man race. The nearest challengers to Spieth are another five shots back.

Spieth didn't make a bogey all day in the third round as he shot a 65. But he stumbled out of the blocks after beginning the day with a three-shot lead.

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2:35 p.m.

Jordan Spieth is off in search of his first British Open title.

The two-time major champion teed off Sunday under sunny skies and with a three-shot lead over Matt Kuchar, his playing partner. Spieth hit his tee shot into the left rough, while Kuchar split the fairway.

Spieth has three rounds in the 60s, including two 65s in this Open. He played Saturday without making a bogey at Royal Birkdale.

Kuchar is looking for his first major championship title.

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2:15 p.m.

Some of those trying to chase Jordan Spieth in the final round of the British Open have stumbled early.

Dustin Johnson made a double bogey on the first hole. He shot 64 in the third round, but was eight shots behind Spieth entering Sunday's final round.

Rory McIlroy was even through three holes, but faced a monumental challenge to get within shouting distance of Spieth. He was nine shots back.

Spieth begins the day with a three-shot lead over Matt Kuchar. Brooks Koepka and Austin Connelly are another three shots back.

Though conditions were mostly favorable for the early starters, they were not shooting the kind of low rounds seen the day before, when Branden Grace set a major championship scoring record with a 62.

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Jordan Spieth faced more blustery conditions at Royal Birkdale as he set out to try to win the third leg of the career Grand Slam at the British Open.

Spieth had a three-shot lead over Matt Kuchar, who is playing in the final group of a major for the first time.

Xander Schauffele put together a 65 on Sunday morning, the best round of the early starters. The wind was expected to increase, though nothing like the second round.

Kuchar was the only player within five shots of Spieth.

A record crowd has taken it all in. The R&A says this is the highest attendance for a British Open in England, topping the 230,000 mark set at Royal Liverpool when Tiger Woods won in 2006.

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