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Golf: Spieth Closing In On Top Spot

wins the 144th Open Championship and completes the third leg of an unprecedented calendar grand slam. Spieth’s play-off victory in the John Deere Classic on Sunday means he can overtake McIlroy, who has been ruled out of his title defence with an ankle injury, in the rankings by lifting the Claret Jug at St Andrews.

The 21-year-old’s decision to compete in Illinois, where he won his first PGA Tour title in 2013, rather than contest the Scottish Open at Gullane or practise on links courses in Britain has been questioned by the likes of former Ryder Cup captain Paul Mc- Ginley.

But the Masters and US Open champion had no doubts it was the right decision after defeating veteran Tom Gillis on the second extra hole. “I really didn’t care anyway,” Spieth said. “I came here for a reason, and we accomplished that reason, and certainly have some momentum going into next week.

This tournament means a lot to me. This is a tournament I trullove. “I’ve got plenty in the tank. Leading into the Masters, those couple of weeks right before could have taken a lot out of me with a runner-up finish and then a play-off loss. And we rebounded nicely.”

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