Spieth is all Champion
The Masters is always an enchanting golf tournament. It starts with the unreal tapestry of Augusta National Golf Club. Until you’ve been there, it’s almost impossible to comprehend just how perfect of a setting it truly is. It’s beautiful on TV but is about 10 times more awe-inspiring in person. The colors, the politeness of the people, the flowers…I might cry. Jim Nantz is definitely over the top with his “Father Flannigan” demeanor but it is hard not to hold the event in high regard.
This year’s tournament was all about the record 24 first timers, and none was more in the forefront than Dallas’ Jordan Spieth. Not only was he in the final group along with Bubba Watson, the 2012 champion, but after 7 holes Spieth led the tournament by 2 shots. Spieth is just 20 years old and he was attempting to become not only the first, first timer to win the Masters since Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979, but the youngest ever. Younger than Tiger. Spieth has been a pro for all of a year and he’s already topping Tiger in things like, the youngest-ever President’s Cup player, youngest to win on the Tour and easiest to like cuz he’s so damn nice.
Spieth let his game get away from him on the back 9, missing key putts and hitting into the water on 12, a huge mistake, but his attitude throughout the imploding back 9 was classy. Never throwing a club, or cussing loud enough for the microphones to pick up…Tiger-type things. Spieth had a front row seat to see Watson win his second green jacket and how it’s done but he also went through the most pressure he’s ever felt on a golf course and survived without acting like a jackass. Not a small feat for a 20 year old in today’s world. Spieth hit some amazing shots and even with the errors, he shot even par for the round and never let it get completely away from him. Just a few years ago, Rory McIlroy had a 4th round lead at the Masters, at age 21, and ballooned into a final round 80. Not Spieth, a few missteps but then back to business.
He set the tone that with or without Tiger in the field, the PGA Tour is in good hands. Just like putting a few dollars in Google stock, I wouldn’t bet against Spieth winning a near-future Masters, not to mention a U.S. Open, British Open and just about everything else he enters. The experience he got Sunday will pay off 20-fold in the future. The real beauty of it wasn’t that he almost won a major golf tournament, it’s how he carried himself in defeat. Not too often we can say that about today’s young athletes. A role model…you bet.