Spieth wins Valspar Championship in playoff

PALM HARBOR, Fla. (AP) — Jordan Spieth and his world-class short game came up big in a playoff victory Sunday at the Valspar Championship.

Spieth capped off an afternoon of back-nine charges, clutch putts and unseemly par saves by making a 30-foot birdie putt on the third extra hole of a playoff at Innisbrook Resort’s Copperhead Course to beat Ryder Cup teammates Patrick Reed and Sean O’Hair.

“A crazy back nine,” said Spieth, who won for the second time in his PGA TOUR career and fourth time worldwide to reach a career-high No. 6 in the world.

The 21-year-old Spieth was three shots behind with six holes to play when he made two birdies to catch a faltering Ryan Moore, and then saved par on his final three holes for a 2-under 69 to join the playoff. And these par saves were not what anyone would call routine.

With his right foot in the bunker and his left foot on grass well above the ball in the sand, he blasted out to 3 feet on the 16th. From deep rough on a hill, he hit a flop shot to a short pin to 6 feet to stay tied for the lead. And he holed a 12-foot par putt on the 18th that fell in the left side of the cup.

Player Driving distance Fairways hit Greens in regulation SG: Putting
Jordan Spieth* 275.3 (T26) 59.62% (T51) 63.89% (T32) .782 (26)
Sean O’Hair 275.1 (28) 67.31% (T19) 66.67% (T18) 2.059 (2)
Patrick Reed 274.0 (T31) 53.85% (T65) 53.85% (T65) 1.837 (3)