A master collapses at the Masters


Sports writer Jason Spies. Photo credit: Nick Martinez-Esquibel

PGA golfer Jordan Spieth had history in his sights.

On track for back-to-back Masters wins, he would have been the youngest player to claim three majors and the first player ever to win wire-to-wire, back-to-back green jackets in the history of the sport. This is the fairy-tale ending that awaited Spieth. Instead it turned into a nightmare that will haunt him for nights to come.

The 22-year-old professional golfer had a 5-shot lead going into the 10th tee and looked like he was on his way to victory. Then the unthinkable happened: He bogeyed his next two holes and on the 12th hole held only a 1-shot lead.

At this point, family, friends and spectators could feel the momentum that he had earlier was diminishing. Everyone knew he needed to do well on what many people call the evil 12th hole.

Spieth found himself in a position that many great athletes eventually end up. Being clutch is a term used when an athlete can either rise to the occasion and earn his claim to greatness, or they can falter and fail in crushing defeat.

It was his Masters to win and his to lose; it all came down to the 12th hole at Augusta. His collapse can be summed up in one word: choked.

Spieth’s first shot was short, bounced once and rolled right into Rae’s Creek. The amazing thing about it is that it wasn’t the shot that lost him the lead. His second shot took more turf than ball and splashed right into the water again. Spieth’s third was just as bad as he finally cleared the water, but it rolled right into the bunker.

Heading to the 13th hole, Spieth’s once 5-shot lead was gone, and he now trailed Danny Willet by three strokes.

This day will be remembered as the biggest collapse in golf history for years to come. Instead of making history in a good way, Spieth made history in one of the worst ways possible.

In a last ditch effort to get back into it, Spieth birdied the 13th and 15th holes and almost had another birdie on the 16th, but it would be all for not as he would come in second to Willet.

Spieth has no one to blame but himself for this unthinkable turn of events. The worst part about this for Spieth must have been having to put the green jacket that he was so close to winning onto Willet. This is a Masters tradition and one Spieth won’t soon forget.

This loss will sting for Spieth, but he is still young and has many years ahead to redeem himself. Until then, fans and spectators will remember him as the guy who could have won his second Masters in the last three years but choked instead.

Jason Spies can be reached at [email protected] or @Jason_Spies on Twitter.