Golf

Speith wins again in warm up for British Open

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Jordan Speith claimed his fourth tour victory of the season with a hugely impressive display at the John Deere Classic, Illinois.

The American overcame Tom Gillis with relative ease after forcing a play off for the trophy.

On only the second hole of the play off it was Gillis who blinked first, hitting his approach on the second hole into the water.

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Speith responded by making par for his second victory at the tournament in three years and his second consecutive victory on the tour after last month's US Open.  

Having already claimed the Masters and the US Open this season, the 21-year-old has his eyes set on a third major championship and is the first golfer to have won four titles heading into the British Open since Tiger Woods in 2000.

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Speith managed an impressive 20-under 264 at the tournament, which included a career best 10-under on Saturday, sending an ominous sign to his competitors before the Open gets underway on Thursday. 

Speith led going into the final round by two shots, however after a less than spectacular start, bogeying two of his first three holes, found himself trailing both Gillis and Johnson.

Coming into the final nine holes, the American still found himself trailing and it looked as though his challenge had faded.

That was until Speith went on an incredible run of four birdies in five holes, including an amazing 21-foot chip on the 16th, to push for a sudden death against Gillis.

The world number two even had a chance to claim victory on the final hole, seeing his 33-foot putt miss by the slightest of margins.

However, it was a tournament of slight margins. Lee, who was attempting to become the first player in 18 years to get his first two career victories in back-to-back events, bogeyed hole 18 when par would have earned him a playoff spot.

Similarly, Johnson's round was delayed when while standing over a possible birdie putt on No. 16, a loud booming sound that apparently came from a boat on the nearby Rock River startled him.

Johnson missed the subsequent putt. Both players finished in tied third on 19-under.

Speith will be glad he came out on top of this golfer dogfight for first place. This could give him the boost he needs to repeat his incredible performances at the Master and US Open this weekend and claim a third consecutive major.

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