- He captured PGA Tour's John Deere Classic in a playoff
- Last to win British Open after U.S. tour win was Lee Trevino
Jordan Spieth is a 5-1 favorite to capture his third straight major championship and join Lee Trevino as the second golfer in the past 81 years to win the British Open the week after a victory on the U.S. PGA Tour.
Spieth, who also won the Masters Tournament and the U.S. Open this year, racked up his fourth title of the season on Sunday by claiming the John Deere Classic on the second hole of a playoff in Silvis, Illinois. It made him the first player with that many wins in a season before the British Open since Tiger Woods had five in 2000.
Spieth’s first career PGA Tour win came at the John Deere Classic in 2013 at age 19 and he opted to play that event in advance of the July 16-19 British Open at St. Andrews in Scotland rather than travel overseas to tee it up at the Scottish Open. Since 1934, the first year all four current majors were played, only Trevino in 1971 followed up a win on the PGA Tour (the Canadian Open) by capturing the British Open.
“I’ve got plenty in the tank,” the 21-year-old Spieth said after becoming the eighth PGA Tour player in the past 25 years to win four or more times in a season. “I just had a two-week break where I didn’t do a whole lot. The only hard part is obviously the time zone adjustment.”
Spieth was the British Open favorite before his latest triumph and before defending champion Rory McIlroy said he won’t be able to play at St. Andrews after rupturing an ankle ligament while playing soccer with friends.
Dustin Johnson is the second-favorite at 12-1, according to the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook. Johnson’s three-putt from 12 feet on the final hole at last month’s U.S. Open made Spieth the tournament’s youngest champion since Bobby Jones in 1923.
Spieth is the sixth golfer to win the Masters and U.S. Open in the same year and is seeking to become the first player to win the first three majors since Ben Hogan in 1953. He’ll be paired with Johnson and Hideki Matsuyama of Japan on Thursday morning during the opening round.
Rickie Fowler and Justin Rose of England are tied with 15-1 odds to win the Claret Jug at St. Andrews. Fowler won the Scottish Open by one shot over Matt Kuchar and Raphael Jacquelin with a birdie on the final hole on Sunday.
“Coming over early and having a chance to play in Scotland against a great field the week before The Open, getting adjusted and seeing where the game is and seeing how it feels on a links golf course, it definitely does a lot for me heading into next week,” Fowler, a 26-year-old American, said after his victory at Gullane Golf Club. Fowler is grouped with Rose and Nick Faldo during the first two days.
Phil Mickelson in 2013 won the British Open the week after his victory at the Scottish Open.
Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa, Adam Scott of Australia and Henrik Stenson of Sweden have 20-1 odds of winning this week, with Woods and Jason Day of Australia at 25-1. Two of Woods’s three British Open titles came at St. Andrews. Woods, Day and Oosthuizen will play together during the first and second rounds.
Mickelson is listed at 30-1, as are Matsuyama, Bubba Watson and Sergio Garcia of Spain.