By Brian O’Hare
ALL those who had anything to do with Jordan Spieth during the 2014 Australian Open week in Sydney last November were seriously impressed by a young man who not only showed great talent on the golf course, but a great demeanour off it.
Many experienced media people and golf writers expressed admiration for the 21 year old Texan’s knowledge and respect of golf’s history and tradition, and his treatment of all those around him.
His 8-under 63 course record final round at the Australian Golf Club to win the Australian Open by six strokes from the likes of McIlroy and Scott was judged to be amongst the best winning rounds at the event ever.
But an incident earlier in the week after one of his opening rounds perhaps typifies the man.
Walking past the Media Centre interview room one day I was surprised/embarrassed to see Spieth sitting alone at the interview desk. Not another person in a room that would usually afford a visiting international golf star a packed audience of questioners, reporters and cameras crews.
The young American was just sitting there looking at his phone, no doubt catching up with some news from home.
Alerted, a couple of Media Centre officials went in an apologised to Spieth, saying the front desk had been temporarily unattended and no one had noticed him walk in. Just a quirk no one had been present when he finished his round.
The genuine response from Spieth was, basically, to shrug it off and say no worries at all.
After his final round, there was certainly more of a crush and commotion when Spieth, Stonehaven Cup in hand, entered the interview room.
Spieth commented on the fact the previous winner, Rory McIlroy, had gone on to a great following year that included a couple of Majors.
“I think if I had the follow-up year that Rory had this year , I think I’d be pleased this time next year – that would be nice,” Spieth said at the time.
“I think I’m very far away. Honestly. This week was big because I was able to close it out. I felt the pressure and I felt the nerves and performed the best I’ve ever performed.
“There’s a big difference between playing great at Augusta and coming up just short and closing out a tournament. It just feels completely different. Even though that week [in 2014 when he was Masters runner-up to Bubba Watson] was one of the most memorable of my golfing career, it still wasn’t a win and it still wasn’t the same feeling as it was today walking down the 18th.”
Well, as of today after his recording equalling 18-under four stroke victory at the 2015 Masters, Spieth now has had that feeling on one of golf’s biggest stages.
“It’s the most incredible week of my life,” Spieth said after his 2-under 70 to beat now fellow Major winners Phil Mickelson (69) and Justin Rose (70).
“This is as great as it gets in our sport. This is a dream come true for me. I didn’t break 70 last year, even having a chance to win, where I got edged out by Bubba [Watson] here.
“But to shoot some low rounds and so see some putts go in out here and to hear the roars, it was remarkable.”
In his winner’s ceremony speech Spieth thanked his Australian golf coach Cameron McCormick, who has worked with him since he was a 12 year old.
Spieth set or equalled a number of records including:
- 270 (-18) ties the 72 hole Masters record held by Tiger Woods
- Spieth is the second youngest champion in history
- First wire to wire winner since 1976 and just the fifth overall
- Lowest 36 and 54 hole scores ever
- Only player to reach 19-under in Masters History (before his bogey on the last)
- 28 birdies: most in Masters history
Not a year for the Aussies
The 2015 edition of the Masters wasn’t a great one for the Aussies despite lots of momentum and expectation going into the event.
One of the pre-tournament favourites in Jason Day finished best at 1-under tied for 28th but won’t be all that happy with his final round 3-over 75.
Day shot an opening round 5-under 67 to threaten early on but his second round 74 put the brakes on.
He opened his final round with a birdie on the 1st but then had four bogies on the front nine and two more on the back before bouncing back somewhat with birdies on 14 and 16.
Adam Scott and John Senden finished at 1-over tied for 38th with Scott following up his promising second round 69 with two disappointing 74’s on the weekend.
Geoff Ogilvy (74) continued to struggle with his putter (it can’t feel good during an Augusta National final round to have a relatively short putt for eagle and walk off with a triple) and closed on 3-over tied for 48th.
Amateur Antonio Murdaca impressed with his second round 71 but failed to make the weekend cut. (Marc Leishman pulled out prior to the tournament due to his wife’s illness.)
It’s a wrap
Well that’s it for the 79th edition of the US Masters, a great one for a 21 year old who no doubt will be around on the world golfing stage for a long time to come. Not a bad one for Tiger Woods – apart from apparently popping a bone out of his wrist socket when he hit a tree root – in a mostly successful return to tournament golf. A fair one for Rory McIlroy who had an equal 6-under low round of the day in his final round but will have to wait another year to attempt his career grand slam.
Jordan Spieth’s comments are winning the 2015 US Masters: Video
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