Jordan Spieth wins the RBC Heritage in a playoff for the second year in a row on Easter Sunday

Jordan Spieth wins the RBC Heritage in a playoff for the second year in a row on Easter Sunday

Jordan Spieth rolled in a 10-foot birdie on the 18th hole in regulation, thinking he would have a shot for a playoff. In a playoff to win the RBC Heritage, he hit an even larger shot at Harbour Town’s hallmark hole.

Spieth’s 56-foot approach from a greenside bunker stopped 7 inches short of the hole, and he beat Patrick Cantlay with a tap-in par on the lighthouse hole on Sunday to win his 13th PGA Tour title and second consecutive on Easter Sunday.

Spieth explained that there are moments when you believe you’ve played well but aren’t quite good enough to win a tournament. With a grin, he said, “I honestly felt like this was that week,” he said with a grin. “I needed a lot of things to go right.”

And he was successful in obtaining all of them.

Spieth finished four groups ahead of Cantlay at 13 under par after a 5-under 66 and waited out a superb field that had multiple chances to level or move ahead. All but Cantlay were unable to track down Spieth, who kept away from the action after completing his round.

“Every single putt looks like it’s going in,” Spieth said. “It was way more nerve-racking than actually playing.”

Spieth was confident he’d be passed by Cantlay, the FedEx Cup champion, Shane Lowry, a past Open Championship winner, or Harold Varner III, the third-round leader. Spieth believed his chances improved after all three parred the par-5 15th, the biggest chance for birdie on the back nine.

Spieth was a shot behind Lowry when he finished. Lowry’s shot on the par-3 14th hole, however, flew across the green and into the sea, resulting in a double bogey. After a 69, he ended a stroke behind the leaders.

Spieth went out to loosen up after Cantlay, who was tied for the lead after a birdie on the 17th, hit his approach on the green on the final hole of regulation, convinced he’d be called back after Cantlay made the winning putt.

Cantlay, on the other hand, slid it by right to set up the playoff.

Cantlay also shot into the front bunker in the playoff, his lie like a cooked egg. He missed the par putt after blasting 35 feet past the cup.

In the playoff, Cantlay was 179 yards from the hole and used the same 9-iron he had in regulation. This shot came short of the green and in a terrible spot.

“Obviously, with it plugged like that, it’s darn near impossible to get it close,” Cantlay added.

Spieth, who was three shots behind Varner going into the round, eagled both front-nine par-5s to come back into contention.

Spieth had ended a four-year winless streak by winning the Valero Texas Open on Easter.

When is the next Easter Sunday? The Masters’ final round is arrived.

Spieth, a three-time major champion who won the Masters in 2015, remarked, “That’s good vibes.”

Varner (70), J.T. Poston (64), Cameron Young (66), Sepp Straka (68), and Matt Kuchar were all a shot back (68).

Spieth has previously won from the bunker. At the 2017 Travelers Championship, he beat Daniel Berger with a greenside bunker shot on the first extra hole.

Others had a chance to catch Spieth, including Cantlay, who missed a 15-footer for birdie on his 72nd hole. With a birdie on the 17th, Straka equaled Spieth for the lead at 13 under, but bogeyed the 18th as his approach found some gnarly tall grass in front of the green. Varner had birdie opportunities on each of his final four holes, but he failed to convert any of them.

With the early eagles, Spieth took off. He holed out from a greenside bunker on the second hole. He reached the green in two on the fifth hole and rolled in a 24-footer to the delight of the gallery.

With a birdie on the eighth, Spieth moved to 13 under par, but bogeys on the ninth and 11th dropped him to 11 under. With a birdie on the 13th, he moved into striking position, then drove his approach to the drama-filled lighthouse hole to 10 feet and made the birdie putt to get to 13 under.

He came in this week upset over missing the cut at Augusta National the week before. “I hated it,” he said. “It was the worst feeling. It was the worst feeling as a golfer that I can remember .”

That changed in Harbour Town, where Spieth played in front of a delighted, sold-out crowd that was four-deep during his pro-am round on Wednesday.

“I was actually very surprised by the amount of support that everyone had this week, and I felt a lot of it personally,” Spieth said. “These crowds were just fantastic for it being a non-major.”

Because it falls following the always-grueling Masters week, Spieth had only played the tournament three times since 2015.

“What a great tournament to win,” Spieth said. “It’s an amazing golf course.”

Share This Post