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The Open 2021: Jordan Spieth misses painfully short par putt on 18, might never leave practice green

July 17, 2021

PAUL ELLIS

There is a cliché in golf about how dinner always tastes better when a round ends on a positive note. Make a clutch birdie on 18, and it will be delicious. Make a bogey, and you might need help washing it down.

Then you have what Jordan Spieth did the last two holes at Royal St. George’s, and it’s possible he won’t allow himself to eat at all.

Tied for the lead for most of the back nine Saturday with Louis Oosthuizen and Collin Morikawa, Spieth appeared in total control in his pursuit of a second Open Championship title—right up until he didn’t. First, Spieth bogeyed the 17th when his approach shot caught the green's false front and his ball rolled back in the fairway. Then came 18, where he hit the green with his short approach from out of a divot hole only to run his birdie attempt past the hole and shockingly miss this two-foot comebacker for par.

You might call it a disappointing end to the day, except Spieth swiftly decided it wasn’t the end of his day. Because he literally ran off the green and through the tunnel underneath the grandstands (leading to some speculation that he had somewhere to "go.")

And then, after signing his scorecard, Spieth proceeded directly to the practice green to work on short putts under the supervision of instructor Cameron McCormick and caddie Michael Greller.

Now three back of leader Oosthuizen heading into the final round, there remains a chance Spieth will leave the practice green at some point. But if he doesn’t like what he sees, someone might want to at least bring him some take-out or something.

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