WINDERMERE, Fla. – Texas freshman Jordan Spieth already has garnered more accomplishments than just about every golfer his age. Two U.S. Junior Amateur titles, a 2-0-1 record at the 2011 Walker Cup and a quarterfinal appearance at the U.S. Amateur this year have helped make Spieth one of the biggest names in amateur golf.
But that doesn’t make his first collegiate individual title any less special.
“I’ve gone through the experience (of a college tournament) and failed the last two times,” said Spieth, who shot a final-round 5-under 67 to win the Isleworth Collegiate Invitational on Tuesday at Isleworth Golf and Country Club.
“I thought I could learn from it after doing it the first time. It looks like I needed two events, and the third time is a charm. But I’m just really happy to play well on a course like Isleworth.”
Spieth finished at 11-under 205 to tie an ICI tournament record. Georgia’s Harris English shot 205 in 2007. Spieth broke the competitive course record with a 7-under 65 Monday.
Top-ranked Texas won the team title, totaling 8-under 856 to beat second-place LSU by 26 strokes – the largest margin in tournament history. North Florida (886) came in third, while Indiana and California tied for fourth at 888.
The Longhorns, who have won three straight tournaments and have had a golfer post at least a second-place finish in all four tournaments this season, had three golfers in the top 6.
Dylan Frittelli, No. 1 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, shot a 3-under 69 to finish second at 3-under 213. Julio Vegas was tied for sixth at 2 over after shooting a final-round 75.
“This was a really special week for us,” Texas head coach John Fields said.
After losing leads on the final days of his previous two tournaments, Spieth finally was able to close at Isleworth. Spieth entered Tuesday with a four-shot lead over Stanford’s Patrick Rodgers and Andrew Yun.
And while Rodgers and Yun slipped – Rodgers shot 74 to drop to fourth at even par and Yun finished tied for sixth at 2 over after a 76 – Spieth remained strong.
After having to take a provisional on his first tee shot, Spieth notched birdies on Nos. 3 and 4, and recorded a par on No. 5 – three holes that he bogeyed in the second round. He eagled No. 7 – a hole he nearly bogeyed during Sunday’s first round – and made the turn at 4-under 32.
“I wasn’t anxious,” said Spieth, who, along with Frittelli will represent the Longhorns at the Western Refining Collegiate All-American on Nov. 21-22 in El Paso, Texas.
“I think the fact that I got into red numbers first by birdieing No. 3 really calmed me down.”
Alabama’s Justin Thomas, who entered the final round at 3 over, carded a 6-under 30 through nine holes en route to a 5-under 67. Thomas finished third at 2 under for the tournament after entering the day tied for 14th.