Spieth carded 63 in Sydney, a number that will resonate with a lot of Australians as that was the score cricketer Phillip Hughes was on before he died on Thursday from injuries sustained from being hit by a ball in the neck in a domestic game in the same city.
It is somewhat poignant that the American finished with a flourish on what would have been Hughes’s 26th birthday yesterday, a score that lifted him to 13-under overall and a six-shot win at the Australian Golf Club.
The 21-year-old Texan began steadily enough despite a strong wind that appeared to make a low score nigh-on impossible.
Three straight pars were followed by birdies at four of his next five holes which ignited his challenge and sent him clear at the top of the leaderboard. It was a position he did not relinquish and birdies at the 14th, 15th, 17th and 18th carried him to a new course record and victory in his first appearance Down Under.
It is the highly-talented Spieth’s second career victory, having broken his duck on the PGA Tour at the John Deere Classic last year.
Rod Pampling finished as runner-up on seven-under overall after a commendable 68 while Australian compatriots Brett Rumford and Greg Chalmers were third and fourth respectively. World No 3 Adam Scott, who lost on the final hole in this event to Rory McIlroy 12 months ago, managed a top-five finish.
McIlroy’s hopes of defending his title were dashed on Saturday, when a triple and double bogey on successive holes around the turn dropped him from a share of the lead to five shots off the pace, and he finished on two-over after his final-round 72.