In the space of forty minutes Jordan Spieth went from holding a five shot lead over the chasing pack to trailing eventual winner Danny Willett by four shots. Such a meltdown hasn’t been seen for many years but I believe this drastic turn of events will benefit Spieth in years to come.
Some people seem to forget just how young Jordan Spieth is. The twenty-two year old Texan already has two majors to his name including a Green Jacket. Two years ago he came second at Augusta National defeated by Bubba Watson. Last year he showed his class winning the tournament wire to wire equaling Tiger Woods’ record low of 18 under par. He blew the field away last year yet all of this seems to have been forgotten in the space of five hours.
He led this year’s Masters for the opening three rounds. Over those 54 holes Spieth showed just how good he is. No matter how wayward his drive went as soon as he found the green he would find the hole. His putting was sublime all week and the putt he sank on the ninth last night was incredible, completing a string of four straight birdies.
Spieth was clearly nervous during his final round which is understandable considering the piece of history that was up for grabs – equaling Woods in becoming the second man to win back to back Masters. He played conservative golf on the front nine and made pressure putts when he needed to.
He was rattled when he stepped up to the twelfth tee. His five shot lead had been cut to one following a string of bogies. The occssion got to him. His tee shot was short of the par 3 twelfth and went into the lake. His drop shot then followed into the water. A quadruple bogie followed but the young American still battled back.
Despite being four shots back Spieth battled within two shots heading into the seventeenth. He went on to card a bogey but still finished second.
This meltdown will stand to Spieth in the future. Rory McIlroy had a similar final round as Masters leader in 2011 but has since won the US Open, The Open Championship and the PGA Championship on two occasions. Jordan Spieth needs time to heal. This isn’t an easy thing to go through but how he deals with the events of the 12th hole could define his career.
Golf isn’t the hardest game on your body but all champions have a winning mentality and I believe young Jordan Spieth has that. Watch this man in June when he defends his US Open title.