Spieth's British Open lead evaporates on front nine

His three-shot lead over Matt Kuchar had vanished, he'd hit as many bogeys already this round as he'd hit in the three previous days, and he was missing the kind of short putts that are usually automatic.

Spieth's battling 69 to end 12 under par leaves just the US PGA to become only the sixth player to complete the set, after his breakthrough win in the 2015 Masters followed two months later by the US Open.

And three-time Open champion Tiger Woods was also quick to pay tribute, taking to social media to write: "What an incredible way to comeback and win".

Spieth had never lost an event when holding a multi-stroke lead after 54 holes.

He was somehow able to get up-and-down to only bogey the hole, while Kuchar missed a birdie putt and ended up parring to lead by a single stoke.




Spieth is striving to join Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Nicklaus and Woods as the elite five to have won all four of the game's big titles at some stage in their career. Kuchar and Spieth went on to birdie No. 17. Royal Birkdale has produced many memorable Open moments, including Arnold Palmer's shot out from the blackberry bush on No. 16 in 1961. Eventually, the tee shot was located on the other side of a massive dune, leading to some dramatic overhead shots that amplified just how far off the course Spieth had gone. He becomes the youngest Open victor since the great Seve Ballesteros won the title at 22 in 1979. Consider of the players who have won three legs of the Slam, Spieth would be the second fastest to do so in terms of majors played, needing just 18 majors to knock off his three. Spieth appeared to be headed for a double bogey at best.

Haotong Li finished in third place at six-under after carding a magnificent 63 on the final day. On the long 15th he drained a huge eagle putt across the green to recapture the lead, and another birdie on 16 took him two clear.

Speaking after being presented with the Claret Jug on the 18th green, Spieth said: "This is absolutely a dream come true for me".

Earlier in the tournament, South African Branden Grace broke the record for lowest score ever in a men's major championship - a 62.

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