Sydney, Australia: Jordan Spieth’s reputation for being the ‘next big thing’ was further empowered today when he marched to a six-shot runaway victory in the Emirates Australian Open.
The American carded a sensational course record eight-under-par 63 at The Australian Golf Club for his second win as a professional and finished the tournament on 13-under.
Australian Rod Pampling was a distant second after closing with a 68, while his countryman Brett Rumford was a stroke further behind following a 70 in an event jointly-sanctioned by OneAsia and the PGA Tour of Australasia.
Australian Adam Scott, winner of this event in 2009 and runner-up last season, returned a 71 for outright fifth place, nine behind the winner.
Spieth, aged 21, arrived here with great expectations and delivered a stunning performance that allows his name to go on the Stonehaven Cup alongside greats such as seven-time winner Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, who won on six occasions, Greg Norman, a five-time winner, and Arnold Palmer.
He started the day sharing the lead and was unstoppable and stormed around the course making four birdies on each nine, with four coming in his last five holes.
“I didn’t know it was a 63 until I signed the card,” said Spieth, who was his usual picture of concentration all week.
“A lot of close calls from the last time I won until now. It would be a lie if I didn’t say it was eating at me a little bit. It is tough when you get so close so many times.”
Spieth turned professional in 2012 and the following year he won the John Deere Classic to become the fourth youngest PGA Tour winner and the first teenager in 82 years. The same year he also lost in a sudden-death play-off at the Wyndham Championship.
Earlier this year he cemented his position as one of the most exciting young players in the game by claiming second place in the US Masters while also making a fine debut in the Ryder Cup.
“I felt it coming on last week, I think we all did, my team at least did. I was striking the ball very well last week and my putter was close,” said the American.
Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy finished off the defence of his title with a 72 to end in a tie for 15th on two-over for the tournament.
The final event of the season on OneAsia is the A$1 million Australian PGA Championship, to be played at RACV Royal Pines Resort from December 11-14.