Another golfing superstar was born tonight when young American Jordan Spieth convincingly – and deservedly – claimed the US Masters at Augusta National.
The fresh-faced 21-year-old from Dallas broke just about every record going en-route to his first major victory. Just about the only one he missed out on was a par putt on the final green which would have bettered the record Masters score of -18 by Tiger Woods.
Never mind, you can’t win them all I suppose though it seems highly likely that the cool, calm and collected Texan – he was unflappable throughout the pressure cooker final day proceedings – will celebrate many more major victories. The Green Jacket will surely be the first of many successes on the biggest of golfing stages?
Spieth was runner-up on his Masters debut last year and clearly he learnt big-time from the experience 12 months ago. This time round he led from start to finish and to be honest never looked like being caught and overhauled even though some of the world’s best players and biggest names were lying in wait waiting for him to make a mistake. It didn’t happen…
You’ve got to take your hat off to Spieth who at this moment in time looks the complete player and tee to green doesn’t appear to have a weak link within his game. Everything is in the locker: he’s the real deal and will surely emerge a serious threat to Rory McIlroy’s status as world no.1.
McIlroy was a red-hot favourite but his sparkling final round 66 for -12 and fourth place was too little too late. Clearly he’s relishing the upcoming challenges with rival Spieth, saying: “I didn’t quite have enough this week, but it’s great to see another young major champion emerge.”
The new champion impressively held off the challenge of Justin Rose who was unable to make inroads into Spieth’s lead and a missed par putt on the last meant the Englishman had to settle for second best alongside three-times victor Phil Mickelson.
In truth, it wasn’t a classic Masters and lacked the usually Sunday afternoon fireworks, probably owing to the fact none of the other contenders could get a really good run going to move within a shot or two of Spieth and put him to the ultimate test.
As it was, Spieth had all the answers and you’ve got to admire his confidence and steely determination. He seemed to be enjoying every single minute, shot and moment…particularly that long triumphant walk up to the 18th green.
It was a successful Masters too for England’s Paul Casey and Ian Poulter (both -9) who secured top ten slots, the latter finishing with a pair of 67s.
A gritty effort too from Tiger Woods (-5) who marked his comeback with a plucky performance which displayed plenty of evidence, form and shots of the Tiger of old. He could soon be in contention for honours again though not for a while, revealing: “I’m going to take a bit of time off to refine what I’m doing… and I like what I’m doing.”