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By Marc Auker
Jordan Spieth won the 2017 British Open at Royal Birkdale to capture his third career major championship. Spieth, 23, shot a 1-under 69 during Sunday’s final round, which was good enough to outlast second-place finisher Matt Kuchar.
The young American isn’t new to the winner’s circle during major competition. In 2015, Spieth won the prestigious Masters tournament at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia and the United States (U.S.) Open at Chambers Bay in Washington. With the win on Sunday, Spieth now has an opportunity to complete the career grand slam by winning the P.G.A. Championship in August at the Quail Hollow Club in North Carolina. Jack Nicklaus, a winner of 18 major championships, is the only other competitor to have won three major championships before turning 24.
Spieth’s final round got off to a rocky start. He shot a three-over 37 in his first nine holes of play after three-putting on three different holes, which brought him into a tie with Kuchar. All hope seemed lost after Spieth sliced a ball off the tee at number 13. He took an unplayable lie penalty and played his next shot from the driving range. The possibility of falling apart like he had at the 2016 Masters looked more and more likely as he prepared to take the shot. That wasn’t the case. He made bogey on the hole to save what could have been a very high score.
Spieth bounced back by making birdie on number 14 and sinking a long eagle putt on 15. It was a roller-coaster final round; but in the end, it was Spieth who stood tall and took home the title.
With a win at the P.G.A. Championship, Spieth would become just the sixth player in men’s golf history to achieve the career grand slam. The last player to accomplish the feat was Tiger Woods back in 2000.
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By Marc Auker
Seventh-seeded Marin Cilic was the only competitor standing between third-seeded Roger Federer and the highly coveted Wimbledon title. After three sets (6-3, 6-1, 6-4), Federer defeated Cilic to capture his eighth championship at the All England Club and cement his place in tennis history.
Federer, the 35-year-old Swiss sensation, is now the oldest champion in Wimbledon’s storied history. He also passed tennis greats William Renshaw and Pete Sampras, who each had seven championship wins at Wimbledon, to become the winningest men’s player in the tournament’s history.
Winning Sunday’s final round matchup in straight sets was the icing on the cake for Federer’s showing at this year’s Wimbledon tournament. He hadn’t dropped a single set through the first six rounds of play, and that trend continued through a final round that lasted just over an hour and a half.
The win at Wimbledon marks the second Grand Slam win of the season for Federer. He defeated long-time tennis rival Rafael Nadal in a thrilling five-set final to capture his fifth Australian Open title. After taking a break from Grand Slam competition by skipping this year’s French Open, Federer dominated the All England Club and became a winner of 19 major championships.
The win in Australia must have been a confidence booster for Federer headed into this year’s Wimbledon tournament. His run at last year’s Wimbledon ended in the semifinals with talks of his left knee not being able to take competitive play anymore.
But patience is a virtue. After taking off for what was basically all the 2016 season, Federer has won both Grand Slam tournaments he has played in this season. As the U.S. Open approaches, be on the lookout for the Swiss star to do something truly spectacular.