First the Masters, and now the U.S. Open. Jordan Spieth has won the first two majors of the 2015 season and his career, and he is now a legitimate superstar in the world of golf.
Only five other golfers have won the first two majors of the year, and now the 21-year-old Spieth is in august company. But after he had finished his final round with a two-putt birdie on the 72nd and final hole at Chambers Bay, he didn't think the title would be his Sunday night.
This is golf history. Spieth wins first 2 majors at age of 21. Woods didn't win 2nd major until 23, more than 2 years after '97 Masters.— Ed Sherman (@Sherman_Report) June 22, 2015
That's because the 21-year-old saw Dustin Johnson strike a remarkable second shot on the final hole, and he was in position to take the championship himself if he had been able to convert a 12-foot, four-inch putt.
|2015 U.S. Open Leaderboard|
|Golfer||Final Score||Strokes Behind|
Johnson studied it hard with a chance to win the tournament. He stabbed at the ball, and it slid by on the left, three feet past the hole. Johnson could have sent the 115th U.S. Open into an 18-hole playoff Monday by sinking that shot, but he failed to convert.
For Johnson, it was a heartbreaking finish that he may not be able to get over anytime soon.
Unbelievable. 12-foot eagle turned into a career albatross __and not the golfing kind.— Thomas Boswell (@ThomasBoswellWP) June 22, 2015
For much of the final nine, Spieth and South African Branden Grace engaged in a taut man-to-man duel. The two were tied at five under par through 15 holes, but Spieth birdied the 16th, while Grace took a painful double bogey.
Then Johnson climbed back into the thick of the championship chase with a birdie on the 17th. He appeared to be in full control after his spectacular second shot on the 18th hole. It appeared that he would be involved in a playoff, at the least.
"I'm in shock," Spieth told Fox Sports reporter Holly Sonders. "I just wanted a fighting chance tomorrow. I can't believe it."
Johnson seemed to rush before he took his final shot. The greens were not easy to read at Chambers Bay, and Johnson's putt hit the left edge of the cup and rolled out.
Louis Oosthuizen had a remarkable back nine, shooting a sensational 29, converting six birdies in the last seven holes and finishing with a 67 for the day. Like Johnson, Oosthuizen finished one stroke behind Spieth.
Spieth shot a 69 in the final round and a five-under 275 for the tournament. Johnson closed with an even-par 70 for the day and a four-under 276 for the tournament.
Oosthuizen shot 66-66-67 in the final three rounds, and if he had been able to put any kind of decent round together in the opener, he might have been able to walk away with the title. Oosthuizen was done in by the 77 he shot Thursday.
Spieth now has an opportunity to exceed the legends if he can win The Open Championship at St. Andrews in July. That would be his third major championship of the calendar year, which would be an unprecedented achievement in modern-day golf.
Spieth, the No. 2 golfer in the world rankings, saw top-ranked Rory McIlroy shoot a four-under 66 on Sunday to finish the tournament at even par. Adam Scott had the best round, shooting a 64 and finishing at three under for the tournament.
Spieth is building his own legend and enhancing his status with two major championships. But fans will remember this tournament as much for Johnson's failure as they will for Spieth's march to glory.