Jordan Spieth immediately set his sights on improving on an “unreal” season after clinching the FedEx Cup title with victory in the Tour Championship yesterday.
Spieth wrapped up his fifth win of the year after a closing 69 at East Lake left him nine under par – four shots clear of Henrik Stenson, Justin Rose and Danny Lee.
The first prize of $1.4m and bonus of $9.85m took Spieth’s earnings for the season to more than $21m, and, with Jason Day finishing joint 10th, it also lifted the 22-year-old above the Australian and Rory McIlroy to the top of the world rankings.
“This is incredible,” said Spieth, who won the Masters and US Open, missed out on a play-off for the Open by a single shot and was second in the US PGA Championship. “This year is unreal. I don’t know how we sit down and figure out how to improve on it, but we are going to try to do that.
“We did not have a great play-offs but we put a lot of hard work into this week. I was out here early on Monday morning. We approached it as if it was a major and mentally stayed in it, even when I didn’t have my best ball striking and boy, that putter sure paid off.”
Spieth had missed the cut in the first two play-off events but was 13th in the BMW Championship to ensure he arrived in Atlanta in control of his own destiny. The top five of Day, Spieth, Stenson, Rickie Fowler and Bubba Watson were guaranteed to claim the FedEx Cup title by winning at East Lake.
“I had missed two cuts in a row and I had never done that,” Spieth added. “I lost the number one ranking and I was watching Jason Day dominating golf. I got frustrated so I got to work, put my head down more than I had after the PGA, knowing we could still peak for this week and that’s what we did.”
Spieth took a one-shot lead over Stenson into Sunday’s final round and doubled his advantage with a birdie on the second, but then bogeyed the fifth and sixth and threw his ball into the water on the latter after a rare three-putt.
However, he quickly regained his composure and holed from 20 feet on the eighth as playing partner Stenson made bogey, before twice holing long birdie putts after the Swede’s approach shots left him inches from the hole.
Stenson had held a three-shot lead after 36 holes and his miserable weekend was capped off by a dreaded shank on the 17th which resulted in a double-bogey, although the 39-year-old did at least hole from almost 60 feet across the 18th green for a closing birdie.
That putt was effectively worth $985,000 to Stenson as it edged him ahead of Day in the final FedEx Cup standings.