Jordan Spieth has blamed being put on the clock for derailing his Open Championship defence.
The three-time major winner shared the lead going into the final round at Carnoustie but laboured to a miserable five-over 76 to finish on four-under and in a tie for ninth, four shots behind the new ‘Champion Golfer of the Year’, Francesco Molinari.
Spieth had already coughed up three shots on his front nine when he and playing partner Xander Schauffele were put on the clock. The former world No.1 said afterwards that he couldn’t remember whether they were informed on the ninth or tenth tee but added that it had an adverse affect.
“I felt like I played really quickly,” said Spieth. “Xander had a lot of flies on his ball, and we had a couple different rulings, he and I, and it put us behind. I really rushed the 10th and 11th holes when we were being timed, including a bad time on the 11th tee.
“I handled it okay but looking back, you know, that was a turning point in the round. If you get one-under on those two holes with a downwind par-5 left, it's a different story.”
Asked he deserved the bad time, Spieth added: “I took over the allotted time on the tee on 11 to decide on 3-iron or 3-wood but throughout the day, I think I played the fastest golf I've probably ever played while contending in a tournament.”