Spieth powers to Oz Open victory

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Jordan Spieth carded a course record eight-under-par 63 on Sunday to win the Australian Open by a massive six strokes.

The 21-year-old American reached a score of 13-under after four rounds at the difficult and windy Australian Golf Club to become the first player from the US to win the title since Brad Faxon in 1993.

Starting his final round in a tie for the lead on five-under, Spieth carded four birdies on the front nine while his rivals struggled to go into the back nine with a three-shot lead.

Despite the swirling winds, Spieth showed no sign of pressure in the closing stages and added for more birdies back nine to claim the title with ease.

“It’s the best round I have ever played, especially considering the conditions,” Spieth told reporters after his round.

“The golf course was in great shape, and it’s an experience I will never forget.”

Local favourite and world number two Adam Scott had to settle for a fifth place finish on four-under after a final round 71, while top ranked Rory McIlroy finished on a disappointing two-over after the Ulsterman could only manage a final round 72.

The Australian Open is the first qualifying event for next season’s Open Championship and the three Aussies who finished in second, third and fourth all qualified for the tournament at St Andrews as a result.

They are Rod Pampling (68) on seven-under; Greg Chalmers (71) on six-under and Brett Rumford (70) at five-under.

With just eight players finishing below par, McIlroy admitted the conditions made stroke playing difficult and was non-committal about a return to Sydney next year.

“It’s been tough all weekend,” McIlroy said.

“I was trying to get something going, but with the pin positions and the wind, it was just very hard to get the ball close to the hole. It just wasn’t meant to be this year.

“Depends all on the schedule and where it’s going, but I love playing in Australia.

“I had a wonderful time this year … so hopefully it works again.”

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