UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. - For much of the U.S. Open, Jordan Spieth said he "didn't have my best stuff," but in the final round, when several major champions charged out of the pack on a Chambers Bay course that was set up to produce fireworks, it was Spieth who had the right stuff.
Spieth took what seemed to be a commanding three-stroke lead with two holes to play, then double-bogeyed the 17th to wind up in a three-way tie at 4-under with Dustin Johnson and Louis Oosthuizen, who was the leader in the clubhouse.
On the 18th, which had been a thorn in Spieth's side all week, he produced a birdie to reach 5-under 275 and then sat back to sweat it out as Johnson sized up a 12-foot eagle putt for the victory.
Johnson insisted he was past his final-round collapses at the 2010 U.S. Open and PGA. But his eagle putt went four feet past, and he missed the comeback on the low side to hand the trophy to Spieth, whose closing 69 was his seventh subpar round out of eight in the majors this year.
The 21-year-old Masters champion became the sixth player to win the first two legs of the Grand Slam. The precocious Texan now can head to St. Andrews for the British Open as a member of an honor roll that includes Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Ben Hogan (who did it twice) and Craig Wood.
Spieth also became the youngest U.S. Open champion since all-time great Bob Jones in 1923, and he's the youngest to win two majors since another all-timer, Gene Sarazen, did it in 1922.
Now Grand Slam pressure will mount. "To go to the home of golf for the next tournament is my sole focus," Spieth said. "You can't win them all unless you win the first two. I'll go looking for the claret jug, and I think I can do it if I get the right prep."
It seemed the pivotal hole would be the drivable par-4 16th. Adam Scott was in the clubhouse at 3 under after shooting a 64 that was the best round of the tournament. After playing partner Branden Grace double-bogeyed the 16th to fall to 3 under, Spieth made a 27-foot birdie putt to seize a three-stroke lead.
But Spieth's three-putt double-bogey at 17 set up one of the wildest finishes in major championship golf. Oosthuizen, who began the tournament 12 strokes out of the lead after a first-round 77, made a birdie at the 18th for a U.S. Open record-tying 29 on the back nine and a 67 that left him at 4 under. Moments later, it became a three-way tie when Johnson birdied the 17th.
Spieth produced a massive roar from the crowd at the 18th with a 3-wood second shot that finished 15 feet from the hole. He missed and tapped in for birdie, knocking out Oosthuizen but leaving the door ajar for Johnson, who gave himself a 12-foot putt for eagle. But that's when the infamous bumpy Chambers Bay greens got him.
Describing the tying birdie putt he missed, Johnson said, "They do bounce, and when they're fast and bumpy, it's tough to get it in the hole. I might have pulled it a little bit, but to me, it looked like it bounced left.
"I didn't make any putts today. I did roll it well. If I get any putts to go in the hole, I win this thing by a few shots. It's not even close."
Spieth was stunned by the ending. "I can't seem to wrap my head around the finish," he said. "Boy, I feel for Dustin . . . I didn't think this would be over and I'd be holding the trophy."
At the same time, Spieth was the one who handled the tough conditions on the greens better than anyone else.
"It's cool to have two legs of the Grand Slam now and to conquer golf's hardest test,'' he said. "Didn't have my best stuff ball-striking, but we really grinded over those five-footers, and that was the difference."