Jordan Spieth heads to the Open Championship with momentum on his side.
Thanks to a par on the second hole of a playoff against Tom Gillis, Spieth won the John Deere Classic on Sunday at Silvis, Ill.
Spieth closed with a 3-under-par 68 at TPC Deere Run to finish the tournament at 20-under 264. Gillis fired a 64 on Sunday make up a four-stroke deficit and force the playoff.
On the second extra hole, Gillis’ approach shot found the water, and Spieth seized the opening to earn his fourth win of the season and his second John Deere title. He won the Quad Cities event in 2013 for his first PGA Tour victory.
Spieth, 21, heads to St. Andrews this week looking to build on the Masters and U.S. Open championships he already captured this year.
If he can secure a victory next weekend in Scotland — ahead of his 23rd birthday on July 23 — Spieth would tie Tiger Woods for the most career wins at age 22 or younger with six.
Before Sunday, the last player to earn at least four victories in a season prior to the Open Championship was Woods with five in 2000.
Spieth took a two-shot lead into the final round at TPC Deere Run, but he needed a late surge just to get into the playoff. He birdied four of the final five holes in regulation, including the last two.
Gillis, 46, was attempting to become the second-oldest first-time PGA Tour winner since
1963. Ed Dougherty captured the 1995 Sanderson Farms Championship when he was 47.
The runner-up result was still valuable: Gillis captured a berth in the Open Championship. He will compete in the British major for the third time after withdrawing from the 1999 event and tying for 58th in 2008.
Gillis birdied six of the first eight holes Sunday to make his move. He bogeyed No. 9, then added three birdies on the back nine before making a costly bogey at No. 16. Gillis parred the 71st and 72nd holes.
Zach Johnson (final-round 65) and Danny Lee of New Zealand (67) tied for third at 265.
Chris Stroud (63), Johnson Wagner (67) and Justin Thomas (67) shared fifth place at 266. Steve Wheatcroft (65), Will Wilcox (67), Kevin Chappell (67) and Daniel Summerhays (68) tied for eighth place.