Jordan Spieth carded the lowest round of the week with an eight-under 64 on Sunday, but he ended two shots shy of his second Masters title.
Spieth was the surprising and outstanding challenger on Sunday, shooting an eight under par 64 and even briefly holding the lead alongside Patrick Reed.
The 2015 champion and first round leader started the day 9 shots behind Reed, but raced to the turn with five birdies for an opening 31.
Spieth's momentum increased on the 12th as he threw his arms up in celebration having made it over the water – the hole which saw him lose the title in 2016 – and went on to make a long birdie putt from off the green get in to second place on his own.
With six holes to go, Spieth decided to take on the par-five 13th and put his approach to 12 feet. He left the eagle out to the left side, but a tap in birdie would move him within two shots of Reed's lead. Spieth then birdied the final par-five of the day to get to within one, and matched Reed at 14-under with a huge 33-foot birdie putt on the par-3 16th.
Standing on the 18th one shot back after his birdie putt on 17 burned the hole, Spieth knew he needed a birdie to give himself a good look at the title. Instead, his tee shot clipped a tree and failed to even make it to the fairway. He managed to put his third shot to 8 feet, but couldn’t finish it off and ended with an eight-under 64 to post the lowest score of the championship and the clubhouse lead at 13-under.
And it turned out he didn't even look at a leaderboard all day.
"The first time I saw the leaderboard was after I tapped in on 18," Spieth said after his round. "Honest to God. Didn't look once today. That was my plan going in. I'm nine back. Go out and just have fun. Don't worry about the golf tournament itself, worry about playing Augusta National."
"I heard roars. I knew somebody was playing well. With eight people ahead of me starting the day, to get that much help and shoot a fantastic round was nearly impossible. But I almost pulled off the impossible. I had no idea. When I finished and I looked at the board I could have been in the lead by two and I could have been down four. And neither one would have surprised me."
His 64 wouldn't end up being quite be enough this time, but it continues his impressive Masters record. In five tournament appearances, he’s gone T2-1-T2-T11-3.
"What we did on 12 today was really cool. I mean that hole, even when I didn't hit it in the water in previous years, I three‑putted in 2015 for bogey. So to play a disciplined shot, probably the most pressure‑packed shot I've ever hit, again, I had no idea where I stood, but still the Sunday pin at Augusta and I know what I've done, and my history there, to stand in that kind of pressure and hit the shot to the safe zone to knock that putt in was massive for me going forward.
"And in general this round was fantastic. I mean nobody's going to have a great Sunday every year at Augusta National. To be able to have a chance to win this Tournament five years in a row is really, really cool. And that's how I'm going to take today."
"I probably should have played a draw off that tee (on 18) but no regrets in the round. I got kind of a tough break there and shot an eight-under 64 on Sunday at Augusta."
"I need to look at today from a really positive viewpoint going forward to set up the rest of the year."