ATLANTA – Jordan Spieth treated the Tour Championship as if it were a major. He played like it was, too.
Looking for a fitting finish to a sensational season, Spieth poured in putts from all over East Lake on Sunday. His final stroke was an 8-foot par putt that was right in the heart for a 1-under 69, and it made the 22-year-old Texan golf's first $22 million man — a PGA Tour record with just over $12 million in prize money, plus the $10 million bonus for the FedEx Cup.
"This is incredible," Spieth said. "This is an event where we approach it like a major championship because we know this is possible at the end of it."
Even when he missed back-to-back cuts to start the FedEx Cup playoffs, Spieth spent the month trying to peak for the most important event in the lucrative series. He was the first to show up at East Lake on Monday to start grinding on his game. And with a one-shot lead going into the final round Sunday, he was on the putting green three hours before his tee time for what caddie Michael Greller called the "early grind."
"We only do this at the majors," Greller said.
It paid off handsomely, especially that putter work.
Spieth made three birdies in a four-hole stretch around the turn, and they were demoralizing for Henrik Stenson, who was trying to keep up. Spieth made a 20-foot birdie putt on No. 8 for a two-shot swing that he never gave back. He made an 18-foot birdie putt on the par-5 ninth with Stenson already at tap-in range for birdie. And with Stenson just over 3 feet away for birdie on No. 11, Spieth curled in a 45-foot birdie putt.
"Eleven was a dagger," Spieth said.
Stenson could only smile and bump fists with Spieth.
"You can't expect him to make it," Stenson said after a 72. "You're feeling like you got a good chance to make up some ground. But he just poured that one in the middle. It's fun to watch and just say, 'Well done.' The best player this week won the tournament, won the FedEx Cup."
It was Spieth's fifth victory of the year, a list that includes the Masters and the U.S. Open, and gave him $12,030,465 in prize money for the year. The previous record was $10.9 million by Vijay Singh in 2004.
Also, Spieth won the Vardon Trophy for the lowest adjusted scoring average, went back to No. 1 in the world and ended the argument about PGA Tour player of the year.
He'll plan the encore later.
"This is one I cannot wait to celebrate," he said.