The Golfer of the Year – an award Ballesteros won on three occasions in 1986, ‘88 and ‘91 – is voted for by the golf media. He beat off competition from Rose, Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton and Rookie of the Year Jon Rahm...
Jordan Spieth enjoys first trip down under with Australian Open victory
Jordan Spieth achieved a course-record 63 in the final round of the Australian Open to claim an emphatic six-shot victory.
The 21-year-old American flew out the gates and eased to an aggregate score of 13 under par, easily securing a second professional title and finally shedding the rookie tag which has been tied to his name for several seasons now.
Speaking after his flawless round, which included eight birdies, Spieth said: "It was the best I've ever played."
Strong favourite and hometown hero Adam Scott may have still been suffering after slipping from World No.2 to No.3, and at four under par, saw his dream of winning in his native country shattered with a fifth placed finish.
And it was a similar story for Rory McIlroy. The World No.1 finished 15 shots back and was resigned to losing the title he was trying to defend after enduring a disastrous third round.
The Northern Irishman was one shot off the lead midway through the tournament, but after his third round capitulation followed by a mediocre final round of 72, he was left to scrap for a tie of 15th.
"With the pin positions and the wind, it was just very hard to get the ball close to the hole," McIlroy said. "It just wasn't meant to be this year."
However, the day rightly belonged to Spieth, who had been tied for the overnight lead, and then secured his first win since last year’s John Deere Classic in a style befitting any of the best golfers in the world.
Oozing style, the young Texan became the first American winner of the Australian Open since Brad Faxon in 1993. His closest opponent came in the form of Australia’s Rod Pampling, who was one shot off the third-round lead and ended his game second on seven-under, while his compatriots Brett Rumford and Greg Chalmers, who both began the day level with Spieth, finished third and fourth respectively.
It means that all three players gain automatic qualification to the 2015 Open Championship.
The Winner’s Bag: Jordan Spieth
Scotty Cameron by Titleist 009 Prototype Putter