Golf: Spieth seals second John Deere title after playoff victory

Jordan Spieth takes a shot from a bunker on the eighth hole during the final round of the John Deere Classic held at TPC Deere Run on July 12, 2015.
Jordan Spieth takes a shot from a bunker on the eighth hole during the final round of the John Deere Classic held at TPC Deere Run on July 12, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

SILVIS, United States (AFP) - Reigning Masters and US Open champion Jordan Spieth defeated Tom Gillis on the second playoff hole Sunday to claim the John Deere Classic, the final PGA Tour tune up ahead of this week's British Open.

Coming off his second John Deere title in three years will give Spieth an extra spring in his step as the world No. 2 tries to continue his run at history at St Andrews.

The 21-year-old American made par on the par-four second playoff hole while Gillis missed the fairway with his tee shot and then found the water on his second at the TPC Deere Run.

Spieth closed with a three-under par 68 to equal Gillis at 20-under-par 264. Gillis, who was three groups ahead of Spieth, fired a 64.

Once again, Spieth showed his flair for the dramatic as he rallied from eight shots off the lead after round one to earn his fourth PGA Tour victory of the season and the fifth of his career.

Spieth rallied from six shots back here in 2013 for his first career win, becoming the first teen to win on the US tour in 83 years.

He was criticized for playing the John Deere instead of heading to Europe to prepare for the Open, but it appears he made the right move as he aims to collect the third leg of the calendar Grand Slam.

Gillis, 46, will have to console himself by claiming a spot in the British Open for the third time, having also competed in 1999 and 2008.

Former winner Zach Johnson fired a 65 and was joined in third place on 265 by last week's Greenbrier Classic champion Danny Lee (67) of New Zealand.

Americans Johnson Wagner (67), Chris Stroud (63) and Justin Thomas (67) shared fifth at 266. Defending champion Brian Harman closed with a 67 to finish in a tie for 24th, nine adrift of the leaders.