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Matt Fitzpatrick Wins 2023 RBC Heritage After Three-Hole Sudden Death Playoff With Jordan Spieth

In a three-hole sudden-death playoff, Matt Fitzpatrick defeated RBC Heritage defending champion Jordan Spieth, and emerged victorious at a PGA Tour venue that he has always cherished. 

Playing in the final pairing with Spieth and Patrick Cantlay, Fitzpatrick clinched the victory by sticking a 9-iron to less than a foot on Harbour Town’s 18th hole—the pair’s third playoff hole. That very same club highlighted the 18th hole of Fitzpatrick’s major championship victory at the U.S. Open last June.

MORE: Final prize money, payouts from Harbour Town 

“It was another 9-iron,” Fitzpatrick joked after he tapped in the birdie putt.

Fitzpatrick grew up playing the famed Hilton Head Island golf course on family vacations. He says the Pete Dye design is his favorite on the PGA Tour behind only Augusta National. 

“Yeah, it’s hard to describe. I said to Billy, it doesn’t get better than this. Walking down here just looking around, it’s a course I dreamed of playing when I was young” Fitzpatrick said. 

On the first two playoff holes, Spieth and Fitzpatrick both had looks at tournament-clinching putts. On the opening playoff hole, Spieth had just 13 feet for birdie, but his putt just skirted the edge of the cup, prompting a colorful reaction from the Texan. 

On the next—the par-3 17th—both players hit irons to inside 12 feet, but neither could convert for birdie. It wasn’t until the pair headed back to the 18th hole for a second time that Fitzpatrick was able to seal the deal by taking dead-aim for the pin. 

“I just felt like I had to be really patient. I felt like if I could just hang on in there, do as best I can. I felt like I’ve been playing really solid, felt like I had a great week last week and coming into the week in practice I felt pretty solid too,” Fitzpatrick said. 

Fitzpatrick shot a career-low round of 63 that included a hole-out eagle on Saturday to take a one-shot lead heading into the final round. Spieth sat two shots behind the Englishman at 12-under and fired off a final round 66 to enter the playoff. On the final sudden-death hole, Spieth’s distance control got the better of him, as he was left with a 33-foot putt to match Fitzpatrick’s guaranteed birdie. 

Fitzpatrick will be the first Englishman to don the tartan jacket since 1984. 

Leading up to his second career victory on the PGA Tour, Fitzpatrick battled a nagging neck injury that sent him into a temporary rough stretch earlier this season. Once the 28-year-old’s neck started to bother him, he missed four out of seven cuts, including at the Genesis Invitational and the Players Championship.

Next week, Fitzpatrick will tee it up in the Zurich Classic of New Orleans—the PGA Tour’s annual team-format event—with his younger brother Alex, who currently plays on the Challenge Tour in Europe.