Jordan Spieth entered the day with a six-stroke lead and held on for the win at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
After tallying 21 birdies in his first three rounds, the 23-year-old was much more conservative Sunday to finish with a 70 featuring just two birdies. Still, this was good enough to end 19 strokes under par for the tournament with his first win of the 2017 season.
Justin Ray of Golf Channel noted the impressive company around Spieth:
Justin Ray @JustinRayGC
Youngest players to win 9 times on #PGATour since WWII: @TigerWoods 23 Yr-5 Mo @JordanSpieth 23 Yr-6 Mo @jacknicklaus 24 Yr-19 days2/12/2017, 10:51:32 PM
Kelly Kraft earned the best finish of his career at second place thanks to a final day score of 67. Dustin Johnson used a late charge to finish in third place at 14 under for the week.
Carson Daly and Ken Duke combined to win the Pro-Am portion with a final score of minus-33, two strokes better than Kevin Streelman and Arizona Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald in second place.
The professionals were the real stars, though, with Spieth leading an impressive leaderboard at Pebble Beach:
Spieth took home the winner's share of the $7,200,000 purse:
|AT&T Pebble Peach Pro-Am Leaderboard and Payouts|
He was the star of the show early in the final round thanks to his impressive consistency.
Per PGA Tour, he reached green in regulation on all nine holes on the front half while hitting six of seven fairways off the tee. The one time he was in the rough, it didn't seem to bother him:
PGA TOUR @PGATOUR
Jordan Spieth made this look much easier than it was. These Guys Are Good. #QuickHits https://t.co/ZWkG8Gqwfj2/12/2017, 8:14:33 PM
He didn't need to do anything special other than rack up pars and avoid any big mistakes.
The entire back nine featured more fairways, greens and two-putts‚ exactly what he needed to do to stay in front.
Jason Sobel of ESPN described the effort:
Jason Sobel @JasonSobelESPN
Common myth that the best closers always go low on Sunday. They often do what Jordan Spieth is doing: Grab the lead and stiff-arm the field.2/12/2017, 9:30:46 PM
A long putt on No. 17 gave him his second birdie of the day (his first was on No. 2), which sealed the victory.
Kraft had put the pressure on early, earning a birdie on four straight holes to move into contention and stay within three strokes of the lead on the back nine. However, those birdies were tougher to find on the back half, and he failed to make up more ground.
Still, his solid play was enough to stay ahead of some much more accomplished players.
Johnson's finish was a bit of a surprise, considering his start for the day. After shooting a 66 Saturday, the highest-ranked American was even at the midway point Sunday. He made up for it with four birdies on the back nine, helping him climb the leaderboard and finish in third.
Gary Woodland also made a big move Sunday with a career-high 10 birdies to help him post a score of 65. The lowest score of the day put him at 12 under for the tournament, good enough for a tie for fifth.
Big names like Brandt Snedeker and Jason Day had strong finishes to end in the top five as well, but this tournament was about Spieth's return to dominance as we enter the meat of the golf season.
As Jonathan Wall of PGATour.com noted, he could be ready for a big year:
Jonathan Wall @jonathanrwall
Just realized Spieth has improved from 87th in sg: approach the green to 4th in span of one season. RIP to everyone else if that continues.2/12/2017, 9:08:22 PM
The PGA Tour will remain in the Golden State next week for the Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades. Bubba Watson is the defending champion of a field that also includes Jason Day, Hideki Matsuyama and others.
Spieth came away with the win, although he admitted it was better for him than fans.
"Today I hit 17 greens, sort of a dream round when you're leading by a bunch. It was sort of boring golf," he said after the round, per Steve DiMeglio of USA Today.
"That was the game plan," he added. "We got to every tee box and Michael [Greller, his caddie] said, 'Keep playing boring golf.' I don't like playing boring golf but it worked out."
A boring win will always be better than an exciting loss.
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