The Masters: As Rory bottled it, Spieth showed what a rare and ridiculous talent he is
Jordan Spieth was nine shots behind at the beginning of the final round.
He wasn't in the picture. He was a supporting character on Saturday, at best, having struggled to get it going on 'moving day.'
We should never have doubted him. This is Jordan Spieth we're talking about after all. Nobody knows how to put a score together at Augusta quite like the Texan.
He's won here, he's finished second here, he's collapsed spectacularly here. Spieth, at the tender age of 24, has already seen it all and done it all at Augusta.
The experience he's gained over the last four years has evidently come in handy because nobody was as hot as him on Sunday. As Rory McIlroy tumbled out of contention, Spieth soared.
Spieth made light work of the front nine, going out in 31 to let everyone know that he wasn't going anywhere. After pars at 10 and 11, he faced his nemesis. The 12th was the scene of Spieth's darkest hour in 2016, when he dunked two balls into the water to throw his chance of a second straight green jacket away, opening the door for Danny Willett.
If you are wondering why Jordan Spieth just celebrated for making it over the water on 12, here’s how he’s played the 12th in his four final rounds of the Masters. (Four water balls.)
2017: Double bogey
2016: Quadruple bogey
— Josh Berhow (@Josh_Berhow) April 8, 2018
Stepping up, Spieth flushed his tee shot to the back of the green. "OK," his caddie assured him. It was dry, at least. Spieth's reaction said it all. Turning to the gallery, he threw his arms up ironically after clearing the drink. It was a light-hearted moment right in the heat of battle, a rare occurrence for a competitor as freakishly focused as Spieth.
Jordan Spieth celebrates being dry at 12 after his struggles the last couple years pic.twitter.com/jlHzAz4LxF
— Paid man gets bored (@cjzero) April 8, 2018
He wasn't finished, draining his left-to-right slider from the back edge of 12 for birdie.
It felt like a significant moment but the best was yet to come. Having driven into the pine needles at the par-5 13th, Spieth offered up a fantastic Phil Mickelson impression as he launched his second over the creek and into the heart of the green. That took some balls. Balls and a lot of skill. He didn't sink the putt but it was another birdie and on he skipped.
He kept his momentum going at 15, two-putting for a birdie just seconds after Reed had birdied 12. At 16, Spieth produced another 'ARE YOU KIDDING ME?' moment as he drained a game-changing putt across the green for a two.
— Masters Tournament (@TheMasters) April 8, 2018
He proved he was human at 17, his birdie putt sliding past the hole on the right side before dropping a shot at 18 to leave him at -13. When Rickie Fowler finished with a birdie, Spieth's race was run. But what a race.
A friendly reminder that he started the day nine back. If he pulls it off and pips Reed to the post, it will officially be the greatest Masters comeback in history. This guy is something else.
Whatever happens, Spieth has served up a timely reminder of what a rare and ridiculous talent he is. As McIlroy stumbles, it is the 2015 Masters winner pushing Reed all the way.
— Mike McAllister (@PGATOUR_mikemc) April 8, 2018
If Jordan Spieth wins the Masters, he will have completed the largest 54-hole comeback in Masters history (trailed by 9).
Current record: 8 by Jack Burke Jr. in 1956. pic.twitter.com/Nnej48QahP
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 8, 2018