Phil Mickelson shot in the 60′s on Saturday and on Sunday. Rory McIlroy shot 66 on Sunday and Justin Rose shot 70. No one could get within less than three shots of 21-year old Jordan Spieth yesterday as he matched Tiger Woods’ 72 hole Masters’ record of -18 under par.
The win was indeed a form of redemption for Speith who faltered down the stretch last year at Augusta in his bid to become the youngest Masters’ winner ever. This year, he took all of the drama and chances for a slip-up out of the equation. In the process, Spieth may have ushered in a new generation of professional golfers. With Woods closing in on 40 years of age, almost a full generation has passed and with Woods’ struggles perhaps the new guard is finally here.
The often stoic Texan Spaeth just wouldn’t let anyone think they were going to have a chance of catching him. Every time someone pulled to within three strokes, Spieth would make birdie or convert a tough par.
Former PGA Champion Steve Elkington made I what I thought was the comment of the day when he tweeted that “If the long hitters can’t catch Spieth here he’s going to win all of the Majors.” I’m not ready to go quite that far but I thought the quote had a lot of interesting weight behind it. Spieth is not a long hitter and Augusta really is great for guy’s who can bomb it but it’s been proven that it can also be quite friendly to guys like Spieth.
His game is about accuracy, especially with his irons and wedges. Throw in the fact that his putting has been just outstanding and you have a guy who proved you don’t have to hit 330 yards every times to win The Masters. Spieth continues to lead the PGA in putting and if that continues, he’ll never be out of a tournament.
Not only did Spieth tie Woods’ 72-hole record but also set records for birdies in a tournament with 28, set the 54-hole record with -16 under par and the 36-hole record at -14 under par.
Perhaps the changing of the guard at this particular tournament was fitting considering what happened with Tiger at the ninth hole. First of all, let’s be clear; he wasn’t a threat in the tournament and any comment to the contrary would be incorrect. In fact, when he teed off on ten, he was already ten strokes behind Spieth.
On the ninth hole, Woods was hitting his second shot from the pine straw and as he made contact with the ball he immediately let out a scream. Apparently he struck a tree root and later claimed “a bone popped out of joint but I was able to get it back in.” As ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt put it, “I’m not a doctor and neither is he but I guess I’ll take his word for it.”
It was an appreciated bit of sarcasm from Van Pelt who I believe is getting to the point where he isn’t thrilled with the constant drama that follows Woods whether he wins a tournament or not. Tiger would go on to shoot a one-over 73 to finish in 17th place but I just don’t understand why Woods just can’t play a tournament and not have some sort of injury.
Perhaps Tiger needs to hang up the golf bag because it’s obvious he isn’t thrilled with other, younger players getting all the attention. Congratulations to Jordan Spieth who is a more than worthy champion and one I hope sticks around from many years to come.
Without the drama of course.