Jordan Spieth outlasts Patrick Cantlay in playoff to take RBC Heritage title

Jordan Spieth celebrates from the front bunker on the 18th hole.
Jordan Spieth celebrates from the front bunker on the 18th hole — the first hole of a playoff — during the final round of the RBC Heritage on Sunday.
(Stephen B. Morton / Associated Press)

Thinking he might have a chance for a playoff, Jordan Spieth rolled in a 10-foot birdie on the 18th hole in regulation. He made an even bigger shot at Harbour Town’s signature hole in a playoff to win the RBC Heritage.

Spieth’s 56-foot shot from a greenside bunker stopped 7 inches away and he beat Patrick Cantlay with a tap-in par Sunday on the lighthouse hole for his 13th career PGA Tour title — and second straight on Easter Sunday.

Sometimes, Spieth said, there’s a tournament where you feel you’ve played well, yet not good enough to win. “I honestly felt like this was that week,” he said with a grin. “I needed a lot of things to go right.”


And he got them all.

Spieth, at 13 under after his 5-under 66, finished four groups ahead of Cantlay and waited out the stellar field that had several chances to tie or move in front. But all except Cantlay could not chase down Spieth, who stayed away from watching too much of the action once he finished.

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

Spieth was certain he’d get passed by Cantlay, the FedEx Cup champion; past British Open winner Shane Lowry or third-round leader Harold Varner III. When all three parred the par-5, 15th, the best chance for birdie on the back nine, Spieth felt his chances improve.

When Spieth finished, he was a stroke behind Shane Lowry. But Lowry’s chip on the par-3 14th raced across the green and into the water, leading to double bogey. He finished a stroke back after a 69.

After Cantlay, tied for the lead after a birdie on the 17th, hit his approach on the green on his closing hole of regulation, Spieth headed out to loosen up, certain he’d be called back after Cantley made the winning putt.

Instead, Cantlay slid it by right to set up the playoff.

In the playoff, Cantlay also hit into the front bunker, with his lie looking like a fried egg. He blasted 35 feet past the cup and missed the par putt.


Cantlay was 179 yards from the hole in the playoff and used a 9-iron as he did a short time earlier in regulation. This shot, came up short of the green and in an awful position.

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

Three strokes behind Varner entering the round, Spieth eagled both front-nine par 5s to get into the mix.

Spieth had won his last event, the Valero Texas Open, on Easter to end a four-year winless drought.

Next Easter Sunday? The final round of the Masters.

“That’s good vibes,” said Spieth, a three-time major champion.


EWA BEACH, Hawaii — Hyo Joo Kim staved off a late charge from Hinako Shibuno to win the LPGA Tour’s LOTTE Championship late Saturday.

Kim closed with a one-under 71 — following a bogey on the par-four 17th with a tap-in birdie on the par-five 18th — to finish at 11-under 277, two shots clear of Shibuno at breezy Hoakalei Country Club.


Kim earned $300,000 for her fifth LPGA Tour title.

“There were a lot of expectations but also a lot of support coming from friends and family as well,” said Kim, who won a major at age 19 in the 2014 Evian Championship. “There have been ups and downs, and I think I am at the up part right now and I feel very proud, a little confident about the future and the outlook looks bright for me and I feel like I can do better moving forward.”

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The 26-year old South Korean star had a three-stroke lead after both the second and third rounds and held off a final-round push from Shibuno, a Japanese player who had a bogey-free 70.

Kim played the front nine in one under. She put her approach on the par-five fifth hole, which played at 540 yards, inside of three feet to to set up a birdie. She birdied No. 8 but bogeyed the par-three ninth hole that went from a third-round yardage of 146 yards to 184 for the last round.

Kim birdied No. 18 after a bit of drama. She missed the fairway with her tee shot and found the right rough. Her second shot crossed the fairway and nestled into the first cut of the left rough. With her third, however, Kim recovered with a pitch shot that left her with a tap-in.

Kim is one of 10 players who have played in all 10 LOTTE Championships since the tournament debuted in 2012.