21 year old Spieth shoots record -18

Alicia Vasquez - AllAccessSportingNews

04/012/2015  6:00 PM CT

Augusta, GA. Jordan Spieth shattered the record book at The Masters this weekend. Shooting a record tying 72 hole 270.

Spieth reached unprecedented territory at the Masters early Sunday evening with a birdie at the 15th hole. Spieth became the first player in Augusta National history to get to 19-under par.

• He broke the 36 hole scoring record set by Raymond Floyd.

• He broke the 54 hole scoring record ripping it from Tiger Woods and Raymond  Floyd.

• 4th Champion to win in 2nd Masters appearance.

• 5th wire-to-wire champion in Masters history.

Spieth, 21, still looks and acts like a kid, wearing baseball caps, sometimes with the brim pointed backward. He calls any man over the age of 30 “sir” and brings back trinkets from his travels for his younger sister. On the golf course, though, this polite young man morphs into a merciless competitor, with a gaze that his mentor, Ben Crenshaw, described as “like looking at Wyatt Earp.”

Jordan Spieth wins Masters in 2nd attempt. (Photo: Ran DeBord)

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Phil Mickelson knew exactly what he had to do to try to track down Jordan Spieth in Sunday’s final round of the Masters. “I needed to do something spectacular,” said Mickelson, who began the day five shots off the lead in search of his fourth green jacket. What Mickelson got was merely pretty good, shooting 3-under 69, which ranks among his best final rounds ever at Augusta. But pretty good wasn’t going to cut it. Not when Spieth proved unflappable, capping his wire-to-wire win with a 2-under 70 that tied Tiger Woods’ tournament scoring record at 18-under 270. Instead, Mickelson tied for second – his 10th runner-up finish at a major – finishing at 14-under 274 along with Justin Rose. “It was a solid round,” Mickelson said. “But it wasn’t exceptional, which is what I needed to do today.” (Photo: Ran DeBord)

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Spieth showed no signs of cracking, and the 21-year-old stretched a four-shot lead at the beginning of the day, pretty much wrapping things up with a birdie at the eighth and a par at the ninth, gaining two shots on his playing partner Justin Rose.

Rose was only three behind after Spieth bogeyed the seventh, missing a short but icy putt. Spieth quickly bounced back - as he had each time anyone put a semblance of heat on the kid - with a birdie at the par-5 eighth. Rose missed his birdie attempt from about 6 feet after a sloppy pitch from just off the green.

At No. 9, Rose put his approach 20 feet from the flag but three-putted from there. Spieth made a nice, comfortable par to keep his score at 17-under par - five shots ahead of both Rose and Phil Mickelson, who just up ahead had birdied the 10th.

The only drama, it seemed, was whether Spieth would break another Masters scoring record on a cloudy day at Augusta National. He already set new standards for 36 and 54 holes, and he pushed his score to 18-under par with a gutsy birdie at the 13th.

Rather than laying up, he went for the green for 208 yards away, the ball clearing the creek that has ruined so many contenders. "Go hard! Go hard! Go hard!" Spieth screamed, letting out a sigh of relief when the ball stopped just 14 feet past the flag. He missed the putt, which would have made him the first player in Masters history to reach 19-under par.

But the tap-in birdie got him to 18 under and still five shots ahead of Rose with five holes remaining. Tiger Woods set the Masters record with an 18-under 270 in 1997, winning the first of his four green jackets in a runaway. Spieth, just a few months older than Woods that day, was dominating in similar fashion. He already had 27 birdies for the week to eclipse another record, the 25 birdies that Phil Mickelson made 2001.

Spieth, who set the tone in the very first round with an 8-under 64, was poised to become the first wire-to-wire winner since Raymond Floyd in 1976 and only the fifth in Masters' history. Rose, the 2013 U.S. Open champion playing in the final group of a major for the first time, kept up his strong finish to the third round by making two straight birdies to start Sunday. At that point, he had birdied seven of his last eight holes.

Spieth never wavered, and Rose faded away. A bogey at the sixth broke a streak of 18 consecutive holes with nothing but pars and birdies for the Englishman. The stumble at No. 9 left Rose with a 36 on the front side, not the sort of charge he needed the way Spieth was playing. Mickelson, seeking his fourth Masters title, never really got it going either. The closest he got to the lead was four shots.

Charley Hoffman, playing in the next-to-last group with Lefty, finally faded away after three strong rounds. The 38-year-old was doomed by a shaky putter, the kiss of death on Augusta's devilish greens. Woods played in the third group from the end with the world's top-ranked player, Rory McIlroy.

It was a glamorous pairing but didn't produce too many cheers, both players facing 10-shot deficits coming into the day and not doing anything to show they were capable of a historic comeback. Woods, in particular, had all sorts of problems with his driver, failing to hit a fairway until the 13th.

He drove into the adjacent ninth fairway with his first shot of the day, then missed that same fairway when actually playing No. 9. Winding up on the pine straw right of the fairway, he struck a hidden root on his swing, yelling out in pain and letting the club fly from his grasp. Time to stand down Tiger.... a new Alpha male has taken over.

Comparisons to Tiger Woods rise in power are everywhere. But Spieth seems to cut from a different cloth, and is not power trip pin' the way Woods was when he won The Masters, and family is the difference.

 John Feinstein, the great golf writer (author of A Good Walk Spoiled) thinks that Tiger has succeeded in spite of rather than because of Earl’s influence. 

"Earl Woods insisted that his son had been sent by God and that he would be the most important human ever – not the most important golfer or the most important athlete, but the most important human. “Tiger will do more than any other man in history to change the course of humanity,” Earl Woods said. When Smith asked Earl Woods if he honestly thought his son – a golfer – would have more impact than Nelson Mandela, more than Gandhi, more than the Buddha, Earl Woods didn’t blink. “Yes, because he has a larger forum than any of them. Because he’s playing a sport that’s international. Because he’s qualified through his ethnicity to achieve miracles. . . . There is no limit because he has the guidance. I don’t know exactly what form this will take, but he is the Chosen One. He’ll have the power to impact nations. Not people. Nations. The world is just getting a taste of his power.”

Here's the difference that stands out between the new champion, and the old: Spieth's father turned his son around, after winning The Masters and was walking off the green, and told him to acknowledge the gallery... which he did. That single gesture, and the number of family and friends that supported Spieth, are what class in golf is about. Winning at all cost is not what the tremendous sacrifice required to reach this goal should be, but what greatness a human being can be in achieving the goal.

Spieth is an anomaly. Something so great you can't grasp all that he represents in a single viewing. He is a book that you read and can't wait for the next chapter to see what happens next.

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