What were you doing at the age of 21? Hitting parties, frequenting bars, living for the weekend? You probably weren't winning back-to-back major championships like Jordan Spieth, that’s for sure.
The American sensation kept his cool on a whirlwind final day at Chambers Bay to win the U.S. Open crown, just a couple of months on from clinching the coveted green jacket at the Masters. As we can see here, courtesy of Sky Sports News HQ, he joins an illustrious group to have won the first two majors of the year:
But it wasn’t smooth sailing for Spieth. With that in mind, here’s a look at the final leaderboard from the 2015 U.S. Open and a recap of some of the standout moments from a thrilling Day 4.
Oosthuizen’s Late Surge
At the beginning of the day, with four men tied for the lead at four-under, the expectation was that one of Spieth, Dustin Johnson, Jason Day and Branden Grace would emerge victorious on Sunday evening. But Louis Oosthuizen thrust himself into the mix with a stunning late surge.
After struggling on the front nine with a 38, the South African hit six birdies in the final seven holes to come home in 29, putting him in the clubhouse at four-under par for the tournament. As noted here by PGA Tour player Kyle Thompson, it was a stunning turnaround for Oosthuizen:
It was a remarkable run. The 2010 Open champion had struggled for rhythm around the undulating Chambers Bay course all week, but he hooked it up extraordinarily on the home stretch to give himself a tremendous chance of earning his second major.
As noted here by the European Tour Twitter feed, it was an almost unprecedented run of scoring at a U.S. Open:
Ultimately, it was a burst of birdies which proved to be in vain. But Oosthuizen should be delighted with his closing effort, and it just goes to show, as Johnson himself was about to find out, that anything can happen in the closing stages of a major championship.
Johnson Collapses, Hands Spieth Glory
“On the last green, I was thinking, ‘This is why I’m here. This is why I play the game of golf,'” said Johnson following the drama on the 18th green, per Ewan Murray of the Guardian. “It just didn’t work out.”
With an eagle putt from 12 feet to win the U.S. Open, the big-hitting 31-year-old had the chance to seize his maiden major crown in the most exciting fashion imaginable. But as he knocked his effort back past the hole, there was an unshakeable sense that the likeable American was going to hand this trophy to Spieth.
He did exactly that.
Breathe Sport captured the moment Johnson lost the title:
Johnson has come close to major glory before—but never this close. He’d played beautifully from Day 1 around this treacherous course, driving brilliantly and holing clutch putts throughout the week—right up until the 18th green, anyway.
So instead of lifting the title himself or coming back on Monday for a playoff, Johnson surrendered the top spot to Spieth, who probably hasn’t received the credit he deserves amid the thrilling finish. ESPN Stats & Info put his achievements into context:
Spieth also played tremendously well, and his birdie at 18 was oozing with the aura major champions possess.
He carried himself around the course with a swagger on Day 4, and even after he hit a double-bogey at the par-three 17th, the Texan recovered to birdie the last and shift the pressure back onto the chasing pack.
As noted by ESPN’s Skip Bayless, Spieth just keeps on backing up his talent:
By contrast, Johnson couldn’t handle the heat, and although he’ll be at a low ebb now, players have emerged from horror finishes before—think Rory McIlroy at Augusta in 2011 and Adam Scott at Lytham in 2012, neither of whom had won a major—to go on and win big tournaments.
For the American, hopefully this harrowing experience will see him battle-hardened as he looks to banish memories of Chambers Bay for good. Sadly, after such a dramatic, engrossing and downright uncomfortable finish, that’s likely to take some time yet.