• Drops six shots in three holes, finishes runner-up
• "It was a tough 30 mins I hope I never experience again'
THE MASTERS | Jordan Spieth
Jordan Spieth was on the verge of becoming the youngest ever player to win two Masters. By the time he’d drained a 15ft putt for birdie on the ninth, he had a five shot lead and the Augusta Spieth procession was on.
Three holes later he was three behind and essentially dead and buried. It was now over to Danny Willett to step up and steal the glory, which he duly did.
His Masters meltdown came exactly 20 years after Greg Norman saw a six-shot lead disappear, ironically giving English golf its last Masters winner in Sir Nick Faldo.
Spieth had four birdies on the spin from the sixth but collapsed at golf’s sharpest corner. He bogeyed ten, dropped a shot at 11, then incredibly dunked two into the water at Augusta’s nippy 12th, and Amen Corner had the last laugh. He walked off with a quadruple bogey seven, dropping to one-over for the tournament.
“I can’t believe that mis-hit,” said Faldo on US TV. Neither could anyone else. Spieth, clearly devastated, said he just didn’t focus over the ball on the par-3 12th.
“I knew the lead was five with nine holes to play, and I knew that those two bogeys [on ten and 11) weren’t going to hurt me. But I didn’t take that extra deep breath and really focus on my line on 12. Instead I went up and I just put a quick swing on it.
“That ball flight is one that’s come up a bit on par 3s this week. I’m not getting round my body enough. It was a bad swing at the wrong time. I should have gone to the drop zone where I knew the yardage.
“I lacked the discipline to hit over that bunker rather than recognising I was leading the Masters by, say, two shots.
Spieth was hoping to become only the third player to win consecutive Green Jackets since Jack Nicklaus (’66), Nick Faldo (’90) and Tiger Woods (’02). In the space of 30 minutes, his dream had evaporated.
“I knew that even par was good and sometimes that makes it hard. I played a little conservative and put in some weak swings.
“We still have the confidence that we’re a closing team. We can close. I have no doubt about that ability. It was a tough 30 minutes that I hope I never experience again.”
If he needed any parting advice on leaving Augusta National, he would have done well to listen to the wise words of Jack Nicklaus, who tweeted: “I think the whole golfing world feels for Jordan Spieth. He had a chance to do something truly special and something very few have done before - and be the youngest to accomplish that - and he just didn’t pull through.
“My heart goes out to him for what happened, but I know that Jordan is a young man who will certainly learn from this experience and there will be some good that comes out of this for him. He’s a wonderful talent and a wonderful young man.”
Jordan Spieth has 'scar tissue'
Former world No.1 David Duval said “scar tissue” is only a byproduct of being a top player.
“It’s a hard thing to get over,” said Duval. “All great champions do have scar tissue from something. Jordan Spieth will go back to the drawing board and find out what happened and make sure it never happens again.”