The Masters record shows that Danny Willett won the 2016 tournament by three strokes ahead of Jordan Spieth and Lee Westwood. In many ways, however, it felt like a tournament that Spieth lost. He led by five with nine holes to play, and a quadruple-bogey 7 at the par-3 12th completed a sudden collapse that cost him a second victory in a row.
As the green jacket ceremony was happening, a woman said, “I feel sorry for Jordan.”
Her male companion said, “He won last year. It’s OK.”
This one will never be OK with Spieth. He was nine holes away from winning a second straight Masters, nine holes from trying to become the first player to win three consecutive Masters, a personal goal of his.
For three-plus days, Spieth handled the chilly wind and the firm, fiery greens better than anyone. He minimized his mistakes and maximized his opportunities.
Spieth looked and walked and acted like the winner. And then he looked empty, the twinkle absent from his eyes, the ache just settling in his soul.
“Big picture, this one will hurt,” Spieth said.
Ron Green Jr.
It had been 14 years since Tiger Woods had won the Masters and it was reasonable to think he had won his last green jacket. As Sunday afternoon unfolded and the majesty of the moment took its toll on others, Woods showed once again how and why he’s different than everyone else.
But maybe, 11 years removed from your 14th and most recent major championship victory, having endured four back surgeries and months of depressing uncertainty about whether you might ever again play the game you dominated like no one else, maybe winning the Masters as a 43-year old with recaptured magic is as sweet as it gets.
Tiger Woods’ one-stroke victory Sunday at the Masters did more than move him one major championship closer to Jack Nicklaus’ all-time record of 18, dusting off a quest and conversation packed away years ago.
It changed – again – Woods’ already remarkable legacy. He’s like no one else. We already knew that but he found another way to show us, relying on his will, his mind and his experience to win his fifth green jacket.
If the 1997 Masters was Tiger the magnificent and the 2008 U.S. Open was Tiger the tenacious, this was Tiger the unconquerable.
Ron Green Jr.