Jordan Spieth digs deep to win Down Under


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American Jordan Spieth ended 2016 on a high as he won the Australian Open for the second time in three years after a play-off.

The world number five went into a play-off at Royal Sydney Golf Club against Cameron Smith and Ashley Hall but he eventually showed his class to prevail.

All three players had tied on 12-under par but Spieth’s approach shot on the first play-off hole gave him the advantage and he birdied to win.

Spieth’s win ensures he becomes the second American after Jack Nicklaus to win the title multiple times and now goes into 2017 in confident mood.

Smith and Hall will now secure places in next year’s Open Championship at Royal Birkdale alongside fellow Aussie Aaron Baddeley who finished in a five-way tie for fourth.

He qualifies in front of Rod Pampling, Jason Scrivener, Ryan Fox and Geoff Ogilvy due to his superior world ranking.

Spieth has endured a mixed season after throwing away the Masters in April but he was delighted to eventually win in a play-off.

He told reporters: “You can’t practice for being very nervous. “You can’t get on the range and say okay, get nervous. It doesn’t work that way.

It just comes through experience. “But it’s moments like today where you can really take it going forward.

I think a lot can be drawn back on 2014 into 15. The way we played the playoff, I think it’s going to do wonders for me.

“To hit those two shots in there right where I wanted to hit them and then to make the putt with it, is something I can draw on all next year.”

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