Masters short takes: Spieth’s first major won’t be his last

Jordan Spieth did improbable things at Augusta National this week. (Brant Sanderlin, AJC)

Jordan Spieth did improbable things at Augusta National this week. (Brant Sanderlin, AJC)

Jordan Spieth did improbable things at Augusta National this week. (Brant Sanderlin, AJC)

AUGUSTA — I’ll post a full column soon on Jordan Spieth’s dominating performance in the Masters shortly. Until then, here are my three short takes on the day:

UPDATE: Here’s a link to the full column.

1. The Next One is here: It’s risky to anticipate the next dominant figure in a sport but Jordan Spieth looks to be just that. He finished tied for second place in his rookie Masters a year ago. He won this year’s tournament by going wire to wire, something that had been done only four times before and not since Raymond Floyd in 1976. Augusta National was his playground. He made a record number of birdies (28) and won with a tournament-record tying score of 18-under 270. He missed a 5-foot par putt on 18 for a bogey or he would’ve had the record at 19-under. He can be forgiven. Expect Spieth to leap to No. 2 in the world rankings behind Rory McIlory, and as McIlroy himself said Sunday of Spieth’s week: “It’s impressive. I’m sure he’ll win many more.”

2. Tiger Woods is on the road back: Woods showed enough this week to suggest he can compete for majors again but that will largely depend on how much he plays and is able to eliminate the kinks in his game. Woods started and ended the tournament with 73s (not good) but he finished the tournament at 5-under for his best finish in a tournament since 2013. His ultimately undoing wasn’t chipping but rather erratic tee shots and poor putting. He hit only 2 of 14 fairways Sunday, leading to five bogeys. Woods’ days of domination are almost certainly over because of all the young talent on the Tour now. But he can still win tournaments if he can stay healthy, which has been an issue. On the ninth hole, Woods was hitting out of pinestraw when his club hit a root and Woods immediately dropped the club in pain. Quote: “The bone popped out, the joint popped out of place.” OK, he’s not a doctor.

3. Bubba makes cut, not history: When Bubba Watson walked to the 18th green on the Masters’ Sunday in 2012 and 2014, it sounded like Sanford Stadium with all of the barking. When he walked to the 18th green on Sunday this year, two fans barked. Watson, trying to become only the fourth champion in history to win consecutive titles, made the cut but accomplished little else. After entering the weekend at 2-under par, Watson shot 73 Saturday and 74 Sunday to finish the tournament at 1-over. He struggled on the greens and finished with as many bogeys as birdies (15 each). He played the par-4s at 10-over in four rounds. It was enough to keep Jack Nicklaus (1965-66), Nick Faldo (1989-90) and Tiger Woods (2001-02) in safe company as the only three to successfully defend Masters titles. But there’s this: If the on-again, off-again trend continues in 2016, watch out for Bubba next year.

Some recent ramblings from the digital jukebox
— MyAJC: It’s a Masters Sunday, and here comes old Phil Mickelson
— AJC: Masters short takes: Spieth hopes to avoid Norman flashback
— MyAJC: Jordan Spieth toying with Augusta, Masters’ field
— AJC: Masters short takes: Spieth’s historic run, and the other guy
— MyAJC: Woods is back, or he’s not, or he is, or he’s not…
— AJC: Masters short takes: The future (Spieth) and the past (Crenshaw)
— AJC: It’s Masters morning and old guys have laready withdrawn
— MyAJC: On eve of final Masters, Ben Crenshaw embracing every moment
— MyAJC: Woods loose, confident, but is he really ready for Masters
— MyAJC: Braves stop the noise with opening victory
— AJC: Short takes: Small ball, Teheran, bullpen and a Braves’ win
— AJC: LIVE: Braves (or what’s left of them) open series vs. Marlins
— AJC: Braves’ deal saves budget (Upton) but drives nail in season (Kimbrel)
— MyAJC: Trade reaffirms Braves’ decision to go backward before forward
— MyAJC: With expectations low, at least Braves won’t underachieve
— AJC: Hawks’ biggest nightmare: Millsap suffers shoulder injury
— MyAJC: Hawks’ turnaround started with trade of Joe Johnson — and he knows it
— AJC: (Updated) Hank Haney was right — Tiger Woods to play in Masters
— AJC: Braves’ deal for Trevor Cahill illustrates concerns about rotation
— MyAJC: Real news would be Tiger Woods making shots
— AJC: Tiger Woods’ plane in Augusta but status for Masters still uncertain

Reader Comments 0

27 comments
Wilbo
Wilbo

Useless to post this here, since nobody reads this moronic blogger's claptrap, but I have to comment on an incredibly stupid comparison made by BobDawg that I read below: BobDawg sez Spieth reminded him of Greg Maddux. 


That's the biggest bunch of mindless crap I've ever heard.


Greg Maddux was a scared little punk in the postseason. In his long career - not one or 2 or 3 games, but a good full sample size - Little Doggie Choke went 6 wins and 11 losses in the NLCS and World Series. 


On the greatest stage in golf, Spieth came through like a champ. On the greatest stages in baseball, Maddux came apart like a cheap rag doll, and is the 2nd losingest pitcher in MLB postseason history.


Stupid, stupid, stupid comparison, and a huge insult to a fine young Masters champion.

Wilbo
Wilbo

This is so hilarious.


The useless AJC sends one of its useless talent free boob bloggers to the Masters and he subsequently "writes" 5 blog posts. In this supposedly major city newspaper there are a grand total of 60 responses now well more than a day after the end of the tournament. 


Idiots.

AlwaysReady
AlwaysReady

Awesome Jordan Spieth is now playing the RBC Heritage Classic at Hilton Head 


and Liar Tiger hurt his pinkie.

GTBob
GTBob

Jordan Spieth had a great tournament. Especially the opening round which was incredible. He certainly earned the green jacket. Im not quite ready to claim him as the next dominant figure on tour though. For that to happen he would have to dominate Rory which I don't see as possible. People already seem to forget that when Rory was winning the PGA and British Open last year Spieth was barely even competitive. It would be fun though if he keeps the momentum and a rivalry is born. It would be great for golf.

creative
creative

@GTBob agreed.  This could be a great time for golf if some of the older guys continue to play well, Tiger, Phil, Bubba.  Couple that (No pun intended) with Rory, Jordan, the 2 aussies,  and a few more of the younger guys and it could be fantastic.  The nice thing about golf, is that you can be competitive well into your 40's barring a mental collapse (see Harrington, Tiger, Duval etc. 

SportsTopFan
SportsTopFan

C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S  to Jordan Spieth for WINNING the prestigious Masters golf tournament !!!

The 66th Green Jacket went to this young 21 year old phenom who played great from start to finish.


Spieth mastered the MASTERS and thrilled golf fans worldwide with his magnificent play.



BobDawg
BobDawg

Speith's performance was very impressive… He reminds me of a "Greg Maddux" on the golf course… Smart and savvy… The game is in good hands now with the new young guns… 

GT71
GT71

@BobDawg  Seems he doesn't curse as much as Mad Dog...but we always have Tiger for that.

Overall, Spieth seems like a gentleman, an honorable young man who respects the game, the players, the fans. If a role model is sought (a dubious and difficult thing to find in pro sports), we may have one in young Jordan.  We'll see.

creative
creative

@GT71 @BobDawg Do you know him personally? Because he's handsome, speaks well and puts the lights out, he is a good role model?  For who?   He seems like a great guy, but the clean cut frat boy thing is not for everybody.  I like a little edge, but to each his own.  If a no personality squeaky clean kid is what you want, then you got it (I'm doing the same thing you did with assumptions.  He may be a psycho...too early to tell)  His sponsor is Under Armor and that is a bit rebellious for golf I guess.  

Wilbo
Wilbo

@BobDawg That's the biggest bunch of mindless crap I've ever heard.


Greg Maddux was a scared little punk in the postseason. In his long career - not one or 2 or 3 games, but a good full sample size - Little Doggie Choke went 6 wins and 11 losses in the NLCS and World Series. 


On the greatest stage in golf, Spieth came through like a champ. On the greatest stages in baseball, Maddux came apart like a cheap rag doll, and is the 2nd losingest pitcher in MLB postseason history.


Stupid, stupid, stupid comparison.

GT71
GT71

Great tourney overall.  Not a nail-biter, but 'new guy gets pushed by big names' is always a good story.

Just thank God it wasn't NBC or we'd have had to bear Johnny Miller and his panegyrics to Tiger, too..

-sting-
-sting-

guess those concerned about the lack of length in this version of the paper that is, ahem free, could buy the regular edition before being such crybabies. 


guffaw. you guys wear entitlement with such dignity. ha!

Rory_Bellows
Rory_Bellows

@-sting- Does not matter if it is free or paid for content. To tell us this will not be Spieth's only major win is really not that compelling. Anyone who follows golf knows this. Anyone who doesn't follow golf, probably, doesn't care.


Overall, a really disappointing contribution from someone who's vocation is to share compelling stories.

GT71
GT71

@Rory_Bellows @-sting-  These columnists job is to fill up the small spaces between pop-up ads that wont go away, ad videos that wont go away, glitzy pics and other shiny bright objects that distract the common 'reader'.

AJC's mission is not to inform, it's to make money efficiently and without a qualm about old-fashioned things like 'talent'.

-sting-
-sting-

@Rory_Bellows @-sting- need a little cheese there to go with the whine. plenty of content elsewhere you dont have to pay for either. try the for pay section if you want more from the ajc as it is a business. if you dont like what they say, you dont have to read it or cry on others shoulders..

-sting-
-sting-

"well he is not a doctor" is the kindest thing that could be said for woods comment about his taking care of his hand on the course. really tiger? he has to work so hard at his mystique now it is of comic book proportion. just play tiger, just win, otherwise stfu. 


glad to see him play as well as he did. that comment about his hand ,just brought him back down. 


very funny to hear faldo go, "he did that? we didn't see that did we?", because their camera and on course people dont miss a sneeze much less an on course joint manipulation.


again jeff, too kind.

GT71
GT71

@-sting-  And open mikes don't miss much either.  Tiger's little rant when he pull-hooked (they don't call it that, but that's what it was) his drive into the woods (hah!) on the 13th on Saturday was typical uncouth, irresponsible, gauche Tiger.  If you missed it, he said, 'Oh, my f*cking God'. Announcer had to apologize about 5 minutes later...after the phone lines lit up, I guess.  Nice, huh?

Hopefully, Jordan will be as good a golfer as Tiger...and a MUCH better person.

creative
creative

@GT71 @-sting- Are you really that upset?  Are you a grown man?  Come on dude.  You are acting like the sissies that no doubt you proclaim to hate.  Grow a pair.  Please don't come back with how do I explain that to my son, because if you don't know, then you better axe somebody.  

Quackmeyer
Quackmeyer

I was wrong.  Rory McIlroy did very well with that new bulked up body.

Quackmeyer
Quackmeyer

@PaulinNH @Quackmeyer  I'm glad I missed on that one.  I really like McIlroy and he is good for the game.


How did Tiger throw his joint out of joint?  May have to go to WebMD for that answer.

OH IO
OH IO

Masters Weekend?


Six paragraphs?


#maileditin

Rory_Bellows
Rory_Bellows

Way to go out on a limb. 


And you're paid for this?