Easter Sunday has been kind to Jordan Spieth for the second straight season with Spieth winning his first PGA Tour event in more than a year by capturing the 2022 RBC Heritage with a come-from-behind effort. Spieth (-13) sat three back of the lead entering Round 4 but posted a 5-under 66 on Sunday to take the clubhouse lead and ultimately edge Patrick Cantlay in the first sudden death playoff hole for the victory.
After scoring eagles on the 2nd and 5th to kick off his round with great momentum, Spieth jumped to 13 under with a birdie on the 8th. A couple bogeys later, he was back fighting for the top spot on the leaderboard; however, a birdie on the 13th saw Spieth regain his momentum, and another on the 18th — where Spieth missed a gimmie 18-inch putt to close out Round 3 — sent him into the clubhouse with the lead.
Cantlay birdied the 17th to match Spieth but was unable to go lower, scoring par on the 18th to force the tournament into sudden death at Harbour Town. Spieth and Cantlay both found the bunker on the first playoff hole, but while Spieth easily punched his out from the bunker’s edge and subsequently sunk a 6-inch par putt for a fantastic up-and-down, Cantlay was forced to dig out his buried ball, overshooting the hole and missing a par putt to tie.
“I won this golf tournament without a putter. This is one of the worst tournaments I’ve putted that I’ve been in contention in,” Spieth told CBS after the round. “I just tried to stay gritty with it, be really positive on the back nine today. After a couple missed shortish puts, I made one on 13, and that really settled me back down and just gave me the chance on 18. I’m most proud of the way — I’m pretty negative after missing a tap-in here, getting lazy yesterday — I’m glad it didn’t affect it [today].”
It had been over a year since Spieth last won on the PGA Tour as he took the Texas Open last Easter Sunday before the 2021 Masters. Sunday marked his second win since the 2017 Open Championship but 13th overall in his young career. Prior to his three-year drought, Spieth went on an absolute tear from 2015-17, winning three majors (2015 Masters, 2015 U.S. Open, 2017 Open) along with the 2015 Tour Championship and six other events in that span.
Spieth entered RBC Heritage coming off a missed cut at Augusta National this year, a performance that clearly motivated him to bounce back one week later.
“Last week was really a killer for me: my favorite tournament in the world, not getting to play the weekend. So, I came in and worked extra hard here. … Felt really good to make a putt that mattered on 18 in regulation there,” Spieth said. “… It feels amazing.”
As for what lies ahead for Spieth, he said he normally has plenty of belief in his putter, so it built his confidence to be able to win an event despite struggling with the stick all week.
In terms of continuing his now-tradition of winning on Easter Sunday, a holiday victory for a third straight year would be monumental given next Easter falls on the same Sunday as the final round of the 2023 Masters.
“That’s good vibes,” said the 2015 green jacket winner, who has four other top-three finishes at Augusta National. “I guess I didn’t really put two and two together there. That’s great. What an amazing day.”
That’s still a year away. For now, Spieth has some autographs to sign.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism