Jordan Spieth fends off Patrick Cantlay to win RBC Heritage in a playoff

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Jordan Spieth’s struggles at Augusta National clearly didn’t carry over to Harbour Town.

Spieth posted a final-round 66 on Sunday, thanks largely to a pair of eagles in his first five holes of the day, and then edged out Patrick Cantlay in a playoff to claim the win at the RBC Heritage.

It marks Spieth’s 13th career win on the PGA Tour, and his first since last year’s Valero Texas Open.

"I needed a lot of things to go right," Spieth said. "I needed to birdie the 18th then needed some help, got some help, dodged a bunch of bullets coming in, and ended up in a one-on-one playoff where my lie in the bunker, although not great, was certainly better than Patrick's. Yeah, it's a bit of a surprise.

"I definitely felt like I was putting myself in the position hole to hole this week to win a golf tournament, and I just was having a hard time early in the week adjusting to the speed differences from last week. Then the hole started to look small to me yesterday, and then just came out today and said I'm not going to leave one putt short. And if they miss, they miss, and just try to be a little bit more aggressive, and made just enough to cap it and win."

Neither player found the green in regulation on the first playoff hole, and instead landed in the greenside bunker just a few feet from each other. Spieth nearly chipped in from there, and had just a tap-in par putt to clear the green.

Cantlay's chip, though, was a different story. His ball was plugged in the sand, which led him to send his chip long and set up a long par putt to keep the playoff alive.

That putt didn’t drop, which officially gave Spieth the win — his second straight on Easter Sunday.

"Obviously with it plugged like that, it's darn near impossible to get it close," Cantlay said.

Spieth entered Sunday three shots back from Harold Varner, who held the 54-hole lead at 11-under. He missed a brutal 18-inch birdie putt to close out his round on Saturday, too.

That finish, and last week’s missed cut at the first major championship of the season, didn’t slow him down any on Sunday. Spieth eagled his second hole of the day after easily holing out from the bunker.

He then eagled just two holes later after sinking a deep putt on the par-5, which brought him into a share of the lead.

Though he bogeyed twice in three holes around the turn, Spieth birdied No. 13 and then closed his day with a birdie on 18 to give him the solo lead at the time.

Several others had plenty of opportunities to overtake Spieth while he waited in the clubhouse, including Cantlay — who birdied No. 17 to tie it up. Cantlay missed his birdie putt on the final hole, however, which set up the playoff.

Seven players finished in a tie for third at 12-under, including Varner, Matt Kuchar and Shane Lowry.

Spieth has struggled following his runner-up finish at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in February. He’s failed to crack the top 25 in any event since and he missed the cut at both The Players Championship and The Masters last week. The win officially moves Spieth to No. 11 in the FedExCup standings, and up 10 spots to No. 10 in the Official World Golf Rankings.

"I never missed a cut at the Masters before and very rarely had not had a chance to win on the weekend. So I hated it," Spieth said. "It was the worst feeling. It was the worst feeling as a golfer that I can remember. It's my favorite tournament in the world, and I just love contending at that event. I was hitting it really, really well and honestly just didn't feel like I deserved to miss that cut ... I think I can kind of shift the other direction now and get to really working on the stroke, which is what I tried to do this week off of last week. That was the frustration.

Jordan Spieth after winning the RBC Heritage
Jordan Spieth picked up his 13th career PGA Tour win on Sunday at the RBC Heritage. (Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
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