Jordan Spieth, a 22-year-old Texan, won the Tour Championship and a $10 million bonus for finishing first in the FedEx Cup playoffs. He set a PGA Tour earnings record, surpassing $12 million (not including the bonus).
ATLANTA – Jordan Spieth treated the Tour Championship as if it were a major tournament. He played like it was, too.
Looking for a fitting finish to a sensational season, Spieth poured in putts from all over East Lake and never gave Henrik Stenson or anyone else much of a chance Sunday. His final stroke was an 8-foot par putt that was right in the heart for a 1-under-par 69, and he leaned back with a smile of pure satisfaction.
The 22-year-old Texan became golf’s first $22 million man — a PGA Tour record of slightly more than $12 million in prize money, and the $10 million bonus for the FedEx Cup.
A season to remember
With his victory Sunday, 22-year-old Jordan Spieth:
• Set a PGA Tour record for earnings in a season ($12,030,465, not including $10 million FedEx Cup bonus), surpassing Vijay Singh’s mark of $10,905,166 set in 2004.
• Became the youngest player since then 21-year-old Horton Smith in 1929 to win five PGA Tour events in a season.
• Returned to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking, moving up from 3rd.
• Became the first player to win the Masters and the Tour Championship in the same season.
“This is incredible,” Spieth said. “This is an event where we approach it like a major championship because we know this is possible at the end of it.”
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Even when he missed back-to-back cuts to start the FedEx Cup playoffs, Spieth spent the month trying to peak for the most important event in the lucrative series. He was the first to show up at East Lake last Monday to start grinding on his game. And with a one-shot lead going into the final round Sunday, he was on the putting green three hours before his tee time.
“People can give up on you easily — and then not to care about that, to worry about our own stuff, and to come into the brightest stages and perform, it’s going to give me a lot of confidence going forward,” Spieth said after the victory.
Spieth made three birdies in a four-hole stretch around the turn, and they were demoralizing for Stenson. Spieth made a 20-foot birdie on No. 8 for a two-shot swing he never gave back. He made an 18-foot birdie on the par-5 ninth with Stenson already at tap-in range for birdie. And with Stenson slightly more than 3 feet away for a birdie on No. 11, Spieth curled in a 45-foot birdie putt.
At that point, Stenson could only smile and bump fists with Spieth.
“You can’t expect him to make it,” Stenson said after a 72. “You’re feeling like you got a good chance to make up some ground. But he just poured that one in the middle. It’s fun to watch and just say, ‘Well done.’ The best player this week won the tournament, won the FedEx Cup.”
Spieth closed with seven pars for a four-shot victory over Stenson, Danny Lee (65) and Justin Rose (66). His fifth victory of the year, which includes the Masters at Augusta National in Georgia and the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay in University Place, was worth $1.485 million and gave Spieth $12,030,465 for the year.
And if that wasn’t enough, Spieth went back to No. 1 in the world; he was third entering the tournament.
“It’s been a phenomenal year for him,” Stenson said. “I watched it firsthand at the first two rounds at Augusta, and he played phenomenal and putted phenomenal. And it was the same putting display, really, today — just an exhibition on the greens, to be honest.”
• Esteban Toledo of Mexico held off 66-year-old American Tom Watson by a stroke in the 50-and-older Champions Tour’s First Tee Open at Pebble Beach in California.
Toledo, 53, closed with a 3-under 69 for a 9-under 206 total and earned $300,000. Watson had a 67.
Seattle native Fred Couples (71) tied for sixth at 6 under. Kirk Triplett (75), a Pullman High grad, tied for 52nd at 4 over.