Richard Bland finished level par after a memorable four days at The Open Championship.

The Southampton golfer shot 67 in his opening round after birdies at the last three holes at Royal Birkdale.

He led the field at one stage during his second round and made the cut in a major for the first time in his 21-year career before finishing 22nd, level with Rickie Fowler and Adam Scott, after carding 70 yesterday and 71 this afternoon

Hampshire’s Justin Rose finished a further four shots behind Stoneham star Bland, while Meon Valley amateur Harry Ellis failed to make the cut.

Champion Jordan Spieth finished three shots clear of nearest rival and fellow American Matt Kuchar.

The victory means Spieth joins Jack Nicklaus as the only players to win three majors before the age of 24 and he can surpass Tiger Woods as the youngest winner of a career grand slam by claiming next month’s US PGA at Quail Hollow.

Spieth admitted memories of his Masters meltdown flashed through his mind as he brilliantly avoided a repeat performance to claim one of the most remarkable victories in Open Championship history.

Three shots clear of Kuchar heading into the final round, Spieth found himself a shot behind after his fifth bogey of the day on the 13th, which involved a 20-minute ruling and playing his third shot from Royal Birkdale’s practice ground.

But the 23-year-old somehow regained his composure to play the next four holes in five under par to card a remarkable closing 69 and finish 12 under par, three shots ahead of the unfortunate Kuchar, who also shot 69 after a bogey on the last.

Spieth, who dropped out of the lead for the first time in two days in extraordinary circumstances on the 13th.

After a wild drive into the rough, Spieth took a penalty for an unplayable lie, entitling him to go back in a straight line as far as he liked to find a favourable place to drop.

That turned out to be the practice range between the 13th and 15th holes and specifically a truck belonging to one of the equipment manufacturers, from where he could then get a free drop away from a temporary immovable obstruction.

Around 20 minutes after finding his ball, Spieth eventually hit his third shot short of the green, chipped to seven feet and holed out for an unlikely bogey.

A few minutes later Spieth holed from 45 feet for eagle on the par-five 15th and, although Kuchar made birdie there to fall just one behind, Spieth rolled in another long-range putt on the 16th and followed Kuchar in for birdie on the par-five 17th.

Kuchar, who admitted the loss was “hard to explain” and “crushing”, had the consolation of his best finish in 47 major appearances, with China’s Li Haotong three shots further back in third after equalling the lowest final round in major history with a closing 63.