Sir Roger Bannister, the first athlete to run mile in under four minutes, dies aged 88

March 4, 2018

Sir Roger Bannister, the first athlete to run mile in under four minutes, dies aged 88

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Sir Roger Bannister, the first athlete to run a sub-four minute mile, has died  aged 88 in Oxford, his family have said.

His time of three minutes 59.4 seconds, set at Iffley Road sports ground in Oxford on May 6, 1954, stood as a record for just 46 days but his place in athletics history was assured.

He also won gold over the same distance at the 1954 Commonwealth Games and later became a leading neurologist.

 A statement released on behalf of Sir Roger’s family said: “Sir Roger Bannister, died peacefully in Oxford on 3rd March 2018, aged 88, surrounded by his family who were as loved by him, as he was loved by them.

“He banked his treasure in the hearts of his friends.”

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Bannister studied medicine at the University of Oxford and went on to become a consultant neurologist after retiring from athletics in 1954.

The Chancellor of Oxford University, Lord Patten of Barnes said: “My wife and I were very sad to hear about Roger Bannister’s death. We offer our condolences to his family. He was not just one of the great athletes of the last century but a superb doctor and servant of Oxford University.

“He was a man of great distinction and honour in every sense. At the age of 88 he was still an active supporter of the University and we will miss him enormously.”

After missing out on a medal when he finished fourth in the 1,500 metres at the Helsinki Olympics in 1952, the then medical student made it his goal to become the first athlete to run a four-minute mile.​


Wes Santee, of the United States, and John Landy, the Australian, had both gone close to the mark before Bannister finally achieved the feat at the Iffley Road track.

As with his previous attempts, he had Chris Chataway and Chris Brasher, his Great Britain team-mates, to set the pace. Brasher took the runners through the first 880 yards before Chataway took over until the end of the third lap.

Bannister kicked for home with 275 yards remaining and crossed the finish line in three minutes 59.4 seconds.

Bannister retired in August 1954 after winning the 1,500 metres at the European Championships in Berne, Switzerland. He devoted his life to medicine and has always said his career as a neurologist, and not his landmark run, was the achievement of his life.

The current mile world record is held by Moroccan Hicham El Guerrouj, who ran a time of three minutes 43.13 seconds in Rome on July 7, 1999.

Speaking to the BBC in 2014 about his illness he said: “I have seen, and looked after, patients with so many neurological and other disorders that I am not surprised I have acquired an illness,” he said at the time.

​”It’s in the nature of things, there’s a gentle irony to it.”

Bannister was the first Chairman of the Sports Council and was knighted for his service in 1975.

In response to the news of his death, British Athletics tweeted: “All at British Athletics are incredibly saddened by the passing of Sir Roger at the age of 88.

“A legend in every sense of the word.”


Prime Minister Theresa May, meanwhile, wrote: “Sir Roger was a great British sporting icon whose achievements were an inspiration to us all. He will be greatly missed.”

Fellow sporting stars also paid tribute.

Olympic champion Amy Williams wrote: “Sad to hear of the passing of Sir Roger Bannister. First athlete to break the 4-minute mile, and going on to do groundbreaking work in medical science.

“You redefined what could be achieved by the human body & showed us nothing is impossible.”

Olympic sprinter Iwan Thomas added: “Sorry to hear of the passing of Sir Roger Bannister what a true legend that man was, an awesome athlete & a true gent.”


Golf: The United States retains the Presidents Cup in Style

October 2, 2017

Golf: The United States retains the Presidents Cup in Style: Congrats to Captain Steve Stricker, Phil Mickelson and his colleagues

October 2, 2017 2:16am EDT October 1, 2017 7:40pm EDT The U.S. extends its streak with a 19-11 victory. Daniel Berger clinches the victory in singles competition.


The Finest US Presidents Cup Team ever assembled with  Captain Steve Stricker

The Americans continued their dominance at the  Presidents Cup in 2017 at Liberty National, capturing their seventh straight trophy with a 19-11 victory. This is the 10th time the U.S. has won the event in the 12 times it has been contested.

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Phil Mickelson of the Victorious 2017 US Presidents Cup Team

The U.S. team had world-ranked golfers with Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson, but it was Presidents Cup rookie Daniel Berger who secured the final half-point to clinch the victory for the Americans. The talented U.S. team went into the weekend with an 8-2 lead and the Internationals didn’t have enough going for them to give the Americans a challenge. From the start it was clear the U.S. was the better team, even with Jason Day and Hideki Matsuyama on the International side.

MORE: Trump presents Presidents Cup to U.S. team

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President Donald Trump with Captain Steve Stricker of the  victorious 2017 US Presidents Cup Team

Over the four days of play, Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler emerged as a solid team while Kevin Chappell and Charley Hoffman gave the U.S. the spark it needed to keep an uncompetitive event interesting. With many of these fearless players on the U.S. roster likely to compete in the 2018 Ryder Cup, the American team will be dominant for years to come in these team events.

Malaysia’s 2017 SEA Games Cock Up–Getting the Indonesian Flag Wrong

August 21, 2017

Malaysia’s 2017 SEA Games Cockup–Getting the Indonesian Flag

by FA Abdul

Image result for The Indonesian Flag at Independence Day--August 17, 2017

COMMENT| A young journalist working for a local media company, Wai Wai Hnin Pwint Phyu walked into the training room in the Pazundaung district of Yangon the other morning, feeling somewhat upset.

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The Cock Up. But the Magnanimous H.E. President Jokowi Widodo said we should not make a mountain out of a molehill. But we in Malaysia should not make this kind of mistake. Actually, this oversight is inexcusable.

“Fa, what you think of SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur?” she asked in her limited English.

“I think we struggled to make it happen. Why do you ask?” I said.

“I am not happy. I am very angry,” said Wai, her face sour.

Since we had a good half-hour before beginning the training session, I pulled out two chairs next to her – one for me and one for our translator – and prepared myself for a story.

Before I could ask her what made her upset, Wai showed me a picture on her handphone. It was of a big group of Malaysian supporters clad in Jalur Gemilang.

“What picture is this?” I asked, curious.

“This is a picture of Malaysian fans, taken during the 2013 SEA Games in Myanmar during the Malaysia-Singapore football match. See how happy they are supporting their country inside the stadium.”

I looked at her, confused.

“Do you know where the Myanmar fans were when our Myanmar football team fought Laos?” she asked, her eyes turning red.

“Where?” I asked worriedly.

“Outside the stadium,” she answered shortly as she showed me a picture of hundreds of fans with Myanmar flags outside the stadium.


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Malaysian crowd unfriendly towards our Singapore neighbours

According to Wai and allegations on social media, only 500 tickets were made available by Malaysia for the Myanmar fans during the Myanmar-Laos match at the UiTM Stadium, which has a capacity of 6,000 seats. Although there were a lot of empty seats during the match, no additional tickets were made available for the remaining fans. As a result, they had to camp outside – some climbed fences and some on trees, to catch glimpses of the match.

From time to time, someone from inside the stadium would ring someone waiting outside, to give updates on the match – that was how their fans outside the stadium celebrated all of Myanmar’s three goals.

Myanmar fans who were stranded outside were purportedly only allowed to enter the stadium 10 minutes before the match ended.

“This picture is going viral in Myanmar. It is making many people angry at Malaysia. Myanmar treated Malaysia so well during the 2013 SEA Games but Malaysia is treating Myanmar so bad in 2017 SEA Games. Why?” Wai asked an honest question.

I was lost for a reply.

“There are thousands of Myanmar people working in Malaysia. This is not fair for them,” she added.

“I agree, Wai. This is not fair….if it is true.”

“You always support your Malaysia,” Wai said. She did not sound too happy. “Look at this report in your own media.”

The news report was about the bus driver of the Myanmar women’s football team who apparently was arrested for theft during a match.

“The Myanmar team had already complained on social media that they were feeling scared of the way the bus driver was operating the bus while on the way to the stadium. And then after beating Malaysia 5-0, the Myanmar team who were tired and hungry had to wait almost two more hours because they could not find the bus driver. Nobody knew he was arrested,” Wai explained.

“That’s really bad,” I said, scratching my head.

Driving without a licence

“You know what is really bad, Fa? The report also says that the bus driver had no driving licence at all!”

My jaw dropped.

“How can Malaysia hire someone without driving licence for our athletes? What if something bad had happened while he was driving recklessly?” Wai was really upset.

I scrolled the Facebook page showed by Wai and was displeased to read chains of angry comments.

“If you are not ready for this, you don’t need to be a host. Shame on you Malaysia!

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Tony Fernandes and AirAsia Staff–The Bright Side of Malaysia

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“Everyone is angry at Malaysia. Me, my father, my boyfriend… everyone. We always like Malaysia because Malaysia is beautiful country, many of our relatives work in Malaysia and we have friends like you from Malaysia. But this time, we don’t like Malaysia.” said Wai, unhappily.

I apologised to Wai on behalf of Malaysia. She smiled, assuring me that it was not my fault that her countrymen were treated in such a way. However, deep inside, I know she is still very much upset.

With hundreds of millions of ringgit spent to ensure the 29th SEA Games unfolds perfectly, I wonder what went wrong.

Do the stories going viral in Myanmar hold any truth? Perhaps Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin should look into it.

As I was writing this, I received a text message forwarded by my son. It was an invitation for all Malaysian football fans to support the Malaysian team in the Malaysia-Myanmar match on August 21 in Shah Alam – the tickets all sponsored.

And I begin to wonder if Myanmar football fans in Malaysia will be able to purchase tickets for this match today – or whether they will be left allegedly stranded outside the stadium once again.


So much for the spirit of sport…

24 Year Old Justin Thomas is the 2017 PGA Champion

August 14, 2017

24 Year Old Justin Thomas is the 2017 PGA Champion

Breaking free from a five-way tie for the lead early on the back-nine of a fascinating and ever-changing final round, world number-14 Justin Thomas emerged as the winner of the 99th USPGA Championship at Quail Hollow. The 24-year old American reached eight-under par with a closing 68 to claim the year’s fourth and final Grand Slam title by two shots. Three players – Patrick Reed, Francesco Molinari, Louis Oosthuizen – tied for second place.

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The clinching moment was the 15-foot putt Thomas made for a two on the short 17th – the second component in Quail Hollow’s so-called “Green Mile.” It was only the fourth birdie of the day on the 221-yard par-3 and afforded him the luxury of a bogey on the potentially treacherous closing hole. Having driven into the left-hand fairway bunker, golf’s newest major champion played safely for the five that clinched his fourth PGA Tour victory of the season and made him $1,890,000 richer.

“I felt like I had the game to get it done,” Thomas said.

That fact has hardly been in doubt for some time. Thomas was a star back to his junior days, winning three times on the prestigious AJGA and earning Junior All-American honors on the circuit twice. He then moved on to Alabama, and won the Haskins Award Presented by Stifel … as a freshman.

He left after his sophomore year and two straight team national championships, and the outside expectations were high. But Thomas never gave in to the crush of pressure. He won on the Tour in 2014 and cruised through to the PGA Tour, where he won early in his second season (at the CIMB Classic in November 2015).

But Thomas, of Goshen, Ky., really accelerated his play in 2016-17. The 24-year-old won three of five starts from October to January, the last of which was a seven-shot romp at the Sony Open that started with an opening-round 59.

“He’s pretty amazing,” said Kenny Perry, a fellow Kentuckian who has known Thomas since the young star was a teenager, in January. “He’s a superstar.”

That line was on point, if not prescient. Is he the superstar in the game? Well, no. Not yet, at least.

Thomas now has five PGA Tour wins, with four of them coming this season. That 2016-17 total beats everyone in golf. But Jordan Spieth, a good friend who hung around the 18th green to watch Thomas close out after he failed to earn the Career Grand Slam in a T-28 showing at 2 over, still has him topped by two majors and six Tour wins overall, and Rory McIlroy (T-22, 1 over) is still the leader of the current crop when it comes to majors with four. (Side note: McIlroy hasn’t won a major in three years, and his 2017 might be over.)

Heck, Brooks Koepka captured his first major at age 27 earlier this year, while PGA Championship contenders Hideki Matsuyama (who tied for fifth at 5 under) and Rickie Fowler (also T-5 after four straight birdies on the back nine briefly put him in contention) are always a threat to nab their first major.

Thomas has been firmly in place among this stunning group of young stars, but he was desperate to climb the ladder; jealous that he wasn’t winning majors like some of his quicker ascending peers.

“There’s no reason to hide it,” Thomas said. “I would say anybody, they are jealous that I won. I was jealous that Sergio won (the Masters); that Brooks won (the U.S. Open); that Jordan won (the British Open). I wanted to be doing that, and I wasn’t.”

It’s fitting, too, the manner in which Thomas earned his first major title.

The Kentucky kid is a player of hot flashes, certainly a high talent, but also a streaky one that is nearly unmatched in the ability to put together electric runs. The 59 speaks to that, as did a third-round 63 at this year’s U.S. Open. (That one also came with a closing eagle.)

But could one of these scorching bursts bring Thomas a major championship – more known for being earned through a plodding approach? Thomas proved his methods could mesh with a major title.

The streaky player entered the tournament in a lull, having missed three straight cuts before a tie for 28th at last week’s WGC-Bridgestone Invitational (a no-cut event). Nothing went to dispel the notion of the struggles continuing when he opened at Quail Hollow in 2-over 73.

Then, his hot flashes started to return. Six birdies arrived in a second-round 66 that moved him from a weekend of morning tee times to firmly in the hunt at five shots back.

The nonchalant twenty-something proceeded to follow up with a 69, using what he referred to as his “B or C” game, to sit two shots back entering Sunday.

If Thomas’ performance wasn’t overwhelming to that point, his mental process sure was. Thomas said he had an “unbelievable calmness” the whole week and all but predicted his ensuing victory Saturday night.

Beginning the final round two shots back of Kevin Kisner, Thomas opened the day bogey-birdie-bogey to fall three behind. Maybe his vision wasn’t to be after all.

Thomas, though, exhibits more patience than his ups and downs would imply.

“He was very smart, very grounded,” Perry said in January. “When he asked me questions as a teenager, he always wanted to know how to practice, what I think about golf shots, golf courses, how to get around a little bit on the Tour. He picked it up fast.”

So, Thomas didn’t fret. In fact, his bogey at No. 1 came after holing a 14-footer. It was the first turning point.

“The putt on No. 1 was pretty big,” Thomas said. “Starting with a double there would have been pretty terrible.” But his ability to incite electricity on the course wouldn’t emerge until hours later. Then it came with a fury the rest of the field couldn’t handle.

Thomas predicted it, too, telling caddie Jimmy Johnson in the middle of the round that “something good’s going to happen.”

He started proving himself right by burying a side-winding 36-footer for birdie at No. 9 that got him to within one. “I had a feeling I was going to make it,” Thomas said.

Just a hole later, he topped himself. A wild drive left actually bounced off a tree into the middle of the fairway, only after Thomas implored for the ball to “get lucky” and beseeched the tree to spit it out. He added on a “please” for good measure. It all worked.

The lucky break allowed Thomas to go over the green in two, and he chipped up to 8 feet. The crucial birdie putt, to move back within one of Matsuyama after the Japanese player birdied the hole, was supposed to go right at the end, but it didn’t. At first.

The ball ended on the left lip and hung there for quite a few seconds, to Thomas’ dismay. Then he tried to help himself out. “I threw a little fit to try to see what would happen,” Thomas said.

Again, the golf gods listened, as Thomas’ ball decided to drop in the cup, a birdie, if a belated one, and the moment of the tournament.

A hole later, Thomas was in a five-way tie for the lead after a Matsuyama bogey, and then all by himself when his compatriots faltered.He showed no mercy by making it a two-shot cushion via a birdie chip-in at No. 13. “Probably the most berserk I’ve ever gone on the golf course,” Thomas said.

 Now, it was just a matter if Thomas could hold on. Reed was charging hard and several others lurked on the edge. It didn’t help Thomas’ cause when he parred the benign 14th and 15th holes, and was struggling as he came to Quail Hollow’s infamous “Green Mile.”

He batted it around up the first of the stretch’s monstrous three legs. With his lead down to one as he faced a 6-footer for par at 16, Thomas could’ve been consumed by the pressure of the moment.

Instead, he buried the putt and went right at a treacherous pin at the water-shrouded par-3 17th, knocking his tee shot to 15 feet.

“I’ll never forget that vision in my head,” Thomas said. “That was one of the best golf shots I’ve probably ever hit in my life.”

When Thomas rolled in the birdie putt to move to 9 under, he all but sealed the win.

He would enter the final hole two ahead, and was three shots clear when Kisner posted a bogey at 16. By that point, it hardly mattered what Thomas did up the closing hole.

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He hit it short of the green from a fairway bunker, chopped his third to 25 feet and two-putted for an easy bogey, his 68 and an 8-under 276 total.

Only a Kisner hole-out eagle at 18 could force a playoff, a dream that came crashing down when the 33-year-old hooked his approach in the water. The 54-hole leader would double bogey and plummet to a tie for seventh at 4 under after that final-round 74.

Thomas’ first major coming at a PGA Championship fits in another way. Both Thomas’ dad, Mike, and his grandfather, Paul, have been longtime teaching professionals – the backbone of the PGA of America, which runs the PGA Championship.

“For me, the PGA definitely had a special place in my heart,” Thomas said. “For this to be my first one and have my dad here, and I know grandpa was watching at home. I was able to talk to him and that was pretty cool.”

The younger Thomas never lacked the ability to win a major when it came to physical talent. It was on the mental side where he felt he could still grow.

He’s not entirely wrong, spiritual clairvoyance and whatever respect he has from Perry aside. As “streaky player” would imply, Thomas has been prone to valleys that are no joke. He followed up his three-win stretch with a run of 14 events where he didn’t post another and missed six cuts.

It was what appeared to be his most nondescript round, his third-day 69, that Thomas was most proud of then this week.

He invoked Tiger Woods after that performance, noting the 41-year-old used to win tournaments by five or six without his best stuff.

Thomas may not be that good, but it was an attitude he espoused Saturday that he used in no shortage in finishing things off a day later.

“I like to think that I’m mature now and I can manage an under-par round when I don’t have my best stuff,” Thomas said after his third round. “I think that’s why I feel like I’m ready to win a major championships now versus last year, I probably didn’t have that.

“You are going to have a day, usually at least a day in the tournament where you don’t have your best. You are not hitting it well. It’s what you can do with it.”

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Justin Thomas won in Malaysia. Two-time CIMB Classic champion Justin Thomas  becomes the youngest player in PGA TOUR history to shoot 59, and joins the likes of Tiger Woods as only the 5th player to win four tournaments or more before age 24.

He’s figured it out, and now it’s a major and three other wins this season. That’s probably a good thing for golf, as Thomas has never been adept at losing. Father and son often played for a dollar in the evenings of Justin’s adolescence and when the young boy lost, it wasn’t pretty.

“It was pretty heated out there,” Thomas said. “And I’m a pretty sore loser, so I did not handle it well when I lost and had to give up a dollar.” If a dollar meant that much, it’s a wonder he played with so much calm with millions on the line.

Of course, this is not the end but a likely beginning. The season isn’t over yet. Thomas has to be the favorite for player of the year honors, and that means his quest for glory this season is far from complete.

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When queried about goals this season, Thomas wasn’t ready to rest on his laurels with the Wanamaker Trophy in hand. “Let you know when the year’s over,” Thomas said.




Korea’s Kim wins 2017 Ladies British Open @Kingsbarns Golf Links, Scotland

August 7, 2017

Korea’s Kim wins 2017 Ladies British Open @Kingsbarns Golf Links, Scotland

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Korea’s I K Kim displayed nerves of steel to hold off the challenge of fast-finishing Englishwoman, Jodi Ewart Shadoff, and win the first major title of her career at the Ricoh Women’s British Open at a wet and windy Kingsbarns Golf Links.

29-year-old Kim started the final round with a six-shot lead over the field but, when Ewart Shadoff became the third player of the week to card a course record 64, the Korean needed to produce nine consecutive pars over her closing nine holes to post a one under par 71 and finish two shots clear of the Englishwoman on 18 under par 270.

Kim’s shot of the day came at the 17th where she hit a 5-wood 197-yards into the wind and over a ditch to set up a 15-foot birdie putt. She did not hole it but her regulation par gave her the luxury of a two-shot lead heading up the last and she went on to play it in text book fashion to bury the inner demons she has harboured since missing a one-foot putt on the 72nd hole of the 2012 Kraft Nabisco (now ANA Inspiration) before going on to lose the subsequent play-off to Sun Young Yoo.

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“I feel uplifted and say that because I didn’t expect to win this week,” she said. “I didn’t really have any expectations. I had one of my best warm-ups of the week, so that gave me quiet confidence. But the wind was blowing differently, and I wasn’t hitting the ball as close. I didn’t have many makeable putts, but I think as well as I could with what I had today, I think.”

Ewart Shadoff’s round of the day started with a birdie on the second and she went on to fire five more in succession from the sixth before claiming her share of the course record with two further birdies at the 13th and 17th.

“I just tried to stay in the moment and hit as many good shots as I could,” she said.

“Honestly, I didn’t think I had a shot. IK was so far ahead, and she’s been playing so good recently, so I was just trying to finish as high up as I could.

“It’s been a big boost to me,” she added. “I didn’t have much confidence coming into this week, having missed the cut last week (at the Scottish Open) but I played great. The key was my putting, my putter was on fire.”

Ewart Shadoff’s 16-under par total of 272 saw her finish three shots ahead of compatriot Georgia Hall, Germany’s Caroline Masson and first round leader Michelle Wie from America. Korea’s Jenny Shin posted a 67 to finish alone in sixth place on 276 while China’s Shanshan Feng returned the same score to finish tied seventh on eleven under par 277 alongside Korea’s Hyo Joo Kim, America’s Stacy Lewis and Swede’s Anna Nordqvist.

English international Sophie Lamb faced a Rules query and then an anxious three hour wait before being confirmed as the winner of the Smyth Salver awarded to the leading amateur who plays all four rounds of the Championship.

The 19-year-old from Clitheroe birdied the last to post a 69 and finish on six under par 282 but it was then discovered that she and playing partner Jane Park had signed for their scores on each other’s cards. A Rules official was called to the Recorders Area and she adjudged that the situation was covered by Decision 6-6d/4 and that no penalty should be applied.

Lamb then had to wait for most of the afternoon until her nearest challenger, Irish World No. 1 Leona Maguire, returned a 75 for it to be confirmed that she had won the amateur prize by three shots. Swedish amateur international My Leander also played all four rounds and closed with a 79 to finish on nine over par 297.

“It has been a fantastic week,” Lamb said. “I have played very well and it was nice to finish with a birdie.

“As an amateur, you play a lot of links golf, and I think that helped me this week,” she added. “It’s all been a bit crazy but I’m delighted to know I can compete at this sort of level. It gives me a lot of confidence.”

American Jordan Spieth wins The British Open 2017

July 24, 2017

American Jordan Spieth wins The British Open 2017

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SOUTHPORT, England — Jordan Spieth won the 146th Open Championship on Sunday at the Royal Birkdale.

On the verge of another meltdown in a major so wild off the tee that he played one shot from the driving range at Royal Birkdale and lost the lead for the first time all weekend, Spieth bounced back with a collection of clutch shots, delivering a rally that ranks among the best.

Spieth played the final five holes in 5 under and closed with a 1-under 69 for a three-shot victory over Matt Kuchar, giving him the third leg of the career Grand Slam and a chance to be the youngest to win them all next month at the PGA Championship.

Spieth joined Jack Nicklaus as the only players to win three different majors at age 23, and even the Golden Bear was impressed.”Is Jordan Spieth something else?” Nicklaus tweeted during a wild back nine.

Spieth missed four putts inside 8 feet on the front nine and lost his three-shot lead. Then, he looked certain to lose the British Open — and the reputation he craves as a reliable closer — when his tee shot on the par-4 13th was some 75 yards right of the fairway, buried in grass on a dune so steep he could barely stand up.

He took a penalty shot for an unplayable lie, and when he realized the practice range was in play, headed back on a line so far that he was behind the equipment trucks. He still had a blind shot with a 3-iron over the dunes to a fairway littered with pot bunkers, stopping just short of one of them near the green.

Kuchar, who had to wait 20 minutes for Spieth to get his situation sorted, missed his 15-foot birdie putt. Spieth pitched over the bunker to 7 feet and made the putt to escape with bogey, falling behind for the first time.

And that’s when the show began.

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Spieth hit a 6-iron that plopped down in front of the pin at the par-3 14th and came within inches of a hole-in-one. He rolled in a 4-foot birdie putt and tied Kuchar. Given new life, he holed a 50-foot eagle putt and turned to caddie Michael Greller and said, “Go get that!”

Emotions rolling, Spieth followed with a 30-foot birdie at the 16th and was ahead by two. And after Kuchar holed a 20-foot birdie putt on the par-5 17th, Spieth assured himself a two-shot margin up the final hole by pouring in yet another birdie.

From the driving range to the claret jug, Spieth put himself in hallowed territory just days before his 24th birthday. Nicklaus was about six months younger than Spieth when he won the 1963 PGA Championship for the third leg of the Grand Slam.

Spieth goes to Quail Hollow in North Carolina next month with a chance to get that final portion of the Grand Slam.

Last year, Spieth spoke with “CBS This Morning” co-host Charlie Rose on how Tiger Woods influenced his game.

“[Tiger] made it cool. He made it athletic. He showed that he kind of had an influence on a younger generation of athletes that maybe [thought], ‘Hey, golf’s cool. Let’s try golf,'” Spieth said. “And you know, it certainly was that way with me.”

On Sunday, Kuchar closed with a 69 and did nothing wrong. He just had no answers for Spieth’s final blitz. Kuchar had a one-shot lead leaving the 13th green. He played the next four holes with two pars and two birdies and was two shots behind.

Li Haotong of China shot a 63 and finished third.