2017 British Open: Spieth Emerges the Champ After Wild Final Round

Jordan Spieth holds the Claret Jug following his victory in the 2017 British Open.
Jordan Spieth shows off the Claret Jug after winning the 2017 British Open. Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Jordan Spieth took himself and fans on a wild ride in the final round, but in the end he claimed the Claret Jug by three shots over runner-up Matt Kuchar. A late, 4-hole stretch in which he was 5-under par was the key for Spieth.

Quick Bits

  • Winner: Jordan Spieth, 268 (full scores below)
  • Dates: July 20-23, 2017
  • Golf course: Royal Birkdale Golf Club
  • Open Championship number: This was the 146th time the British Open was played.

Spieth Grabbed 2017 British Open Lead Early

Spieth's opening round of 65 tied him for the first-round lead with Kuchar and Brooks Koepka. And while Koepka fell back a bit and eventually finished tied for fifth, eight shots behind the winner, Spieth and Kuchar battled throughout the tournament.

Spieth took the solo lead with a 69 in Round 2; Kuchar followed with a 71. In the third round, Spieth shot 65. Kuchar? He had a 66, and after Round 3 Spieth held a 3-stroke lead over Kuchar.

Grace Set New Major Championship Scoring Record in Third Round

Branden Grace, who finished among those tied with Koepka in fifth place, made a huge splash in the third round. He shot 8-under 62, becoming the first golfer in the history of men's major championships to post that score.

The first 63 in a men's major was recorded at the 1973 U.S. Open. So it took 44 years for someone to break that record. And Grace was the man who did it.

Spieth's Wild Ride and Championship Push in the Final Round

Spieth, already a 2-time major championship winner (2015 Masters and 2015 U.S. Open) led Kuchar by three entering the final round, and those two were pretty much unchallenged in the final round. And Spieth wound up winning by that same 3-stroke margin. But it was anything but easy for him.

Spieth bogeyed the opening hole. Then he bogeyed again on No. 3, and again on No. 4. A birdie followed on the fifth, but Spieth closed the front nine with another bogey. Kuchar, meanwhile, shot even-par over the first nine holes. The two golfers stood even at that point.

On the 13th hole, Spieth's drive was way, way right - he missed the fairway by an estimated 100 yards, had to take a 1-stroke unplayable penalty, and played his third stroke on the par-4 hole from the Royal Birkdale practice area.

Although Spieth dropped a shot on the hole, and fell one behind Kuchar, the fact that he "saved" an unlikely bogey - it could have been much worse - seemed to energize him.

That's when Spieth started his tournament-winning run: He birdied No. 14, eagled No. 15, and added birdies on 16 and 17. Five-under over those four holes. Kuchar played that stretch well himself with a pair of birdies, but it wasn't enough to keep up with Spieth.

With a par on the final hole, Spieth had his third win in a major championship.

History Made for Spieth

Spieth's first British Open win and third major championship didn't break any records. But, just a few days shy of his 24th birthday, Spieth did become just the eighth golfer in history to have wins in The Masters, the U.S. Open and the British Open. The other seven? They are all giants of the game:

  • Gene Sarazen
  • Ben Hogan
  • Arnold Palmer
  • Jack Nicklaus
  • Gary Player
  • Tom Watson
  • Tiger Woods

Spieth was the second-youngest, after Nicklaus, to do so. Five of those golfers - Sarazen, Hogan, Nicklaus, Player and Woods - went on to complete the career Grand Slam.

Final Scores at the 2017 British Open

Here are the final scores for the 2017 British Open played at Royal Birkdale Golf Club (par-70) in Southport, England (a-amateur):

Jordan Spieth 65-69-65-69--268
Matt Kuchar 65-71-66-69--271
Haotong Li 69-73-69-63--274
Rory McIlroy 71-68-69-67--275
Rafael Cabrera Bello 67-73-67-68--275
Matthew Southgate 72-72-67-65--276
Marc Leishman 69-76-66-65--276
Alex Noren 68-72-69-67--276
Branden Grace 70-74-62-70--276
Brooks Koepka 65-72-68-71--276
Paul Casey 66-77-67-67--277
Chan Kim 72-68-67-70--277
Henrik Stenson 69-73-65-70--277
Zach Johnson 75-66-71-66--278
Chris Wood 71-72-68-67--278
Jason Dufner 73-71-66-68--278
Ian Poulter 67-70-71-70--278
Hideki Matsuyama 68-72-66-72--278
Austin Connelly 67-72-66-73--278
Xander Schauffele 69-75-70-65--279
Charley Hoffman 67-73-72-67--279
Adam Scott 69-74-70-67--280
Jamie Lovemark 71-69-70-70--280
Richard Bland 67-72-70-71--280
Rickie Fowler 71-71-67-71--280
Richie Ramsay 68-70-70-72--280
Aaron Baddeley 69-76-72-64--281
Daniel Berger 68-76-70-67--281
Lee Westwood 71-74-69-67--281
Bubba Watson 68-72-71-70--281
Thongchai Jaidee 70-73-68-70--281
David Drysdale 72-73-66-70--281
Tommy Fleetwood 76-69-66-70--281
Andrew Johnston 69-74-67-71--281
Tony Finau 70-73-67-71--281
Jason Day 69-76-65-71--281
Russell Henley 70-70-75-67--282
Webb Simpson 71-74-70-67--282
Laurie Canter 70-72-72-68--282
Soren Kjeldsen 71-71-72-68--282
Martin Kaymer 72-72-70-68--282
Steve Stricker 70-72-69-71--282
Sergio Garcia 73-69-68-72--282
Sung-hoon Kang 68-73-76-66--283
Yi Keun Chang 71-71-71-70--283
Jon Rahm 69-74-70-70--283
Andrew Dodt 69-75-69-70--283
Peter Uihlein 72-72-69-70--283
Thomas Pieters 69-75-68-71--283
Kevin Na 68-75-68-72--283
Joost Luiten 68-72-70-73--283
Matthew Fitzpatrick 69-73-68-73--283
Ross Fisher 70-72-66-75--283
Kevin Kisner 70-71-74-69--284
J.B. Holmes 71-72-71-70--284
Jimmy Walker 72-72-70-70--284
Toby Tree 70-75-69-70--284
Justin Rose 71-74-69-70--284
Scott Hend 71-74-65-74--284
Dustin Johnson 71-72-64-77--284
Ernie Els 68-73-70-74--285
Thorbjorn Olesen 70-72-74-70--286
Sean O'Hair 72-73-71-70--286
Charl Schwartzel 66-78-71-71--286
Michael Lorenzo-Vera 75-70-70-71--286
Young-han Song 71-74-69-72--286
Kyung-tae Kim 73-71-69-73--286
a-Alfie Plant 71-73-69-73--286
Shaun Norris 71-74-65-76--286
Joseph Dean 72-72-70-73--287
Andy Sullivan 70-75-69-73--287
Gary Woodland 70-69-74-74--287
Brandon Stone 73-72-68-74--287
Bernd Wiesberger 69-75-71-73--288
James Hahn 68-76-70-74--288
Danny Willett 71-74-73-71--289
Kent Bulle 68-72-74-76--290