History-chasing Jordan Spieth now eyeing Claret Jug

Jordan Spieth made another entry into golf’s history books and steadied himself for a third leg of an historic calendar Grand Slam after dramatically sealing a Masters-US Open double at Chambers Bay early on Monday morning.

History-chasing Jordan Spieth now eyeing Claret Jug

The 21-year-old from Dallas became the youngest winner of the US Open since the legendary Bobby Jones in 1923 and the youngest to win two career majors since Gene Sarazen the previous year.

He is the sixth golfer in history to capture the Masters-US Open double in the same year, joining Craig Wood, Ben Hogan, who did it twice, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods, who last achieved the feat in 2002.

Spieth also became the first to birdie the 72nd hole to win the championship since Jones did so in 1926 although the champion had to wait for rival Dustin Johnson to blow his chance of victory or even an 18-hole play yesterday with a three-putt at the same hole.

Even then, Spieth was having difficulty digesting the news he had won the US Open by a stroke from Johnson and Louis Oosthuizen at five under par. The American had carded a closing one-under 69 during which he had birdied the 16th to open up a three-shot lead with two to play, only to double bogey the par-three 17th.

“I’m still in shock. It’s cliché to say, but I’ve never experienced a feeling like this,” Spieth said.

“Just kind of total shock. I thought that I had won it on 16, I thought that. I didn’t think I had lost it after 17, but I thought I needed to play 18 well just to play tomorrow. And then after DJ hit his second shot in, I thought, ‘Shoot, I may have lost this tournament’.

“And just utter shock at the finish.” Spieth said he had “goose bumps” to hear the names of the golfers who had previously done what he had just achieved, although he would be the first to complete a modern, post-Masters slam if he were to reach golf’s Holy Grail.

“Those names are the greatest that have ever played the game, and I don’t consider myself there. But certainly off to, I think, the right start in order to make an impact on the history of the game.”

A third successive major victory at St Andrews in The Open Championship would certainly go a long way to cementing that impact and Spieth made lifting the Claret Jug and succeeding world number one Rory McIlroy as champion his number one priority.

“It’s just about now looking to St Andrews and everything prior, how are we going to best prepare for it and how are we just going to fine-tune. It’s just fine-tuning, it’s nothing major, it’s just fine-tuning, and that’s what we normally have to do anyways. And there’s always a way to get better.”

Spieth said he had not enjoyed being reduced to a bystander as Johnson stood over his putt to win the US Open.

“This was just an odd deal, very odd. I very much feel for Dustin. He deserves to be holding the trophy just as much as I do“I’m just focused on the Claret Jug now. I think that the Grand Slam is something that I never could really fathom somebody doing, considering I watched Tiger win when he was winning whatever percentage of the majors he played in and he won the Tiger Slam, but he never won the four in one year.

“And I figured if anybody was going to do it, it would be him, which he still can.

“I think we’ll just use that secret formula and see if we can maybe have on weeks these next two weeks -- the two weeks that the majors are held.” Spieth saw good omens for his Open prospects given that he had succeeded at the linksy Chambers Bay layout.

“This was somewhat of a British-style golf course, so are the next two majors.

“I’ve proven to myself that I can win on a British-style golf course now. Now I take it to the truest British-style golf course of any in the world. And I’m just excited for the opportunity coming then, and I’m not going to think about what could possibly happen after.”

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