Matt Kuchar felt as if he had the claret jug in his grasp. In fact, Spieth's worst finish in a major that year was a 4th place finish at St. Andrews and included a runner-up finish in the PGA Championship and the same result at Augusta in 2016.
Instead he'll be celebrated for one of the most clutch performances ever. "All you can really do is sit back, tip your cap and say, 'well done.' And it was certainly a show that he put on".
But the 23-year-old American somehow regained his composure to play the next four holes in five under par to card a remarkable closing 69 and finish 12 under par, three shots ahead of the unfortunate Kuchar, who also shot 69 after a bogey on the last.
"It's crushing. It hurts".
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Kuchar's wife, Sybi, and two kids, Cameron and Carson, had even flown in unannounced for the occasion.
Grace, ranked 35th in the world, made eight birdies in his bogey-free, eight-under-par third round at the par-70 Royal Birkdale course. So Spieth took his drop more than 100 yards back over the hill on the driving range behind equipment trucks. "The shot on 18 (hitting it to 4 feet) was just phenomenal".
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Privately many others expressed similar thoughts. "We can do this for quite a while", he said. "Some men you just can't reach". The GOP has a narrow majority of 52 senators, and Democrats are unified against the effort to dismantle Obamacare .
Spieth, who had blown his drive way right, apologised to Kuchar for taking so long over his shot to the green.
Spieth, who ultimately beat Kuchar by three after both men completed final rounds of 69, was fully aware of the scrutiny he would have faced had he failed to capitalise on another commanding position in a major. Kuchar responded with a birdie, but it was advantage Spieth.
Spieth nearly aced the par-3 14th, then made eagle on the 15th and another birdie on 16 to leave his playing partner and Ryder Cup teammate shell-shocked.
A further birdie on the 16th gave him a two-shot lead and when they traded birdies on the next, it was Spieth's to lose. "He played well down the stretch". "And you control your own destiny, and sometimes that can be a big thing on your mind versus I need help and I'll just go out there and try to play well. That was simply it".
Kuchar had been hoping to extend that run and become the sixth champion from the last seven Opens aged 39 or older. "That was a momentum shift and I had to believe that".
"He's a great champion and a great individual to look up to. And he's a great individual to look up to".
"To be so close, to taste a victory and not be able to get it, it's hard", Kuchar said.
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This comes after Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Friday targeted the Centre by raising the Dadri lynching case. Depsite the Prime Minister asking them not to take law in own hand, no one is listening to him, he said.
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"I definitely feel like today was an opportunity lost to get right in the mix going into tomorrow", McIlroy said. "You see some guys get a little bit scared, but he kept going".
Grace added: "It's special, it really is".
"If you look at his victory total, his win today and the way he won, Jordan has shown an incredible display of maturity for someone so young, and he has been doing that for a quite a while".
"Unbelievable, actually", he said.
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Earlier in the week, the latest Senate GOP health care plan collapsed, leading Trump to call for simply letting Obama's law fail. Assessing Democrats as unwilling to help them scrap Obama's law - which they were - McConnell ignored them from the start.
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