Jason Day tossed aside the title of best golfer without a Major Sunday, using a closing-round 67 to hold of No. 2 Jordan Spieth by three strokes and win the US Open with a Major record 20-under finish.
Day finished with a 68-67-66-67 – 268 to win $1.8 million. Spieth who would have preferred the title, instead is the new No. 1 golfer in the world, supplanting Rory McIlroy after the latter’s 54-week run ended.
Day’s 20-under breaks Tiger Woods’ mark of 19-under at the 2000 Open Championship for lowest score at a Major. The previous mark at a PGA Championship was also Woods, 18-undder recorded in both 2006 and 2000.
Day’s finish builds on the spectacular year he’s had at the Majors, finishing tied for ninth at the US Open and tied for fourth at the Open Championship.
Day climbed from fifth to third in the world with his win, although Spieth and McIlroy have a sizable advantage for the top two spots in the rankings.
On Sunday, Day kept Spieth at arm’s length throughout the run, and withstood an early charge from South Africa’s Branden Grace.
Day began the day at 15-under, with Spieth 13-under and Grace 12-under. Day birdied four of the first seven holes, including three in a row, to sit 4-under through seven, while a bogey saw Spieth lose two strokes over that span.
Grace was the hotter hand, recording four birdies of his own in the first seven holes, and moving within two strokes of the lead through 10 holes, surpassing Spieth temporarily.
Grace basically fell out of contention with a double-bogey 6 off the railroad tracks on No. 10, and Spieth – down by four strokes at the turn, could never get closer than three strokes down, which he did when Day bogeyed No. 15.
Both men birdied the 16th, and it was pars all around down the stretch as Day became the 11th man from Australia to win a Major, joining Peter Thomson, Bob Charles, David Graham, Greg Norman, Wayne Grady, Ian Baker-Finch, Steve Elkington, Michael Campbell, Geoff Ogilvy,and Adam Scott.