Golf Buzz

July 23, 2017 - 11:34am
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T.J. Auclair
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rory mcilroy
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Rory McIlroy eagled the par-5 17th hole at Royal Birkdale on Sunday, but was unable to birdie the final hole, which would have given him a share of the clubhouse lead.

It's been a crazy final day at Royal Birkdale.

While Jordan Spieth and Matt Kuchar have been duking it out, other players have stepped up. China's Haotong Li, for instance, fired a 7-under 63 in the final round of the Open Championship to get in the clubhouse at 6 under.

With Spieth backing up and Kuchar hanging around par, Li is hanging out waiting to see if his effort is good enough for a playoff.

Meanwhile, Rory McIlroy was making a late-round charge.

The four-time major winner got to 5 under for the tournament with this eagle on No. 17:

He needed a birdie at the final hole to share the clubhouse lead with Li, but failed to hole a greenside bunker shot.

McIlroy will finish the tournament at 5 under. 

Jordan Spieth
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If it seemed like a Claret Jug was a forgone conclusion before the start of the final round Sunday for Jordan Spieth, that wasn't the case early on.

Incredibly, for the fifth time in his career, 23-year-old Jordan Spieth took a lead into the final round of the major on Sunday, this time in the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale.

Of the previous four, he converted the 2015 Masters and U.S. Open into victories.

When Sunday's round began, Spieth had a three-stroke advantage over Matt Kuchar at 11 under. A win by Spieth would make him the second youngest player in the game's history -- behind Jack Nicklaus -- to win three legs of the career grand slam. Furthermore, he'd have a chance to complete the career slam in the PGA Championship next month at Quail Hollow.

RELATED: Open Championship leaderboard | Photos from Royal Birkdale

With all the history on the line, it seemed as though nerves were getting to the Texan early on.

Spieth -- the only player in the field with three rounds in the 60s this week -- got off to an uncharacteristic start, bogeying three of his first four holes.

Just like that, he was tied with Kuchar.

However, at the par-4 fifth hole, Spieth pulled himself together and snagged his first birdie of the day to regain a one-stroke advantage. One hole later, Spieth's lead went to two shots when he parred the sixth to Kuchar's bogey.

Is this the putt that will settle the early butterflies?

We won't know for another few hours. But, it may be just what Spieth needed at just the right time. 

July 23, 2017 - 7:07am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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zach johnson
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In a spot where a two-putt par would have been fantastic, Zach Johnson went ahead and did one better at Royal Birkdale on Sunday.

Zach Johnson, winner of the 2015 Open Championship at St. Andrews, is quite comfortable with links golf.

Playing the eighth hole at Royal Birkdale in the final round of the 2017 Open on Sunday, Johnson was just off the back of the green on the 458-yard, par 4. As the commentator noted, a two-putt par and move along to the next tee would have been tremendous.

Johnson, a two-time major winner, did one better.

He buried the thing:

That putt put Johnson at even for the week. He would also birdie the ninth to get to 3 under for the day and 1 under for the tournament.