The 2015 Masters may be remembered as the week that Jordan Spieth climbed to the top and became American’s Next Golf Hero. The 21 year old Texan has done all the right things so far placing his name in the Masters record book after each of the first three rounds.
For a time during the third round Spieth’s score reached 18 under par before finding trouble on the 17th hole and finishing the day at minus 16, proving that he is human after all. Today Justin Rose and Phil Mickelson with begin the day in striking distance of the leader. Together they will attempt to position themselves to capitalize should the younger Spieth have a final round breakdown for the second year in a row.
I, for one, hope that the breakdown doesn’t happen and that Jordan Spieth hangs on to become the second youngest Masters Champion ever. If that doesn’t bring along more comparison to Tiger Woods, who was 21 when he first won at Augusta, then surpassing Woods tournament record score of 18 under par will do it for sure.
It would be a tremendous shot in the arm for golf in America. Spieth is the right age to appeal to the coming generation of children who are ready to try something that they see as cool. Remember the NIKE campaign that was launched when Tiger Woods arrived on the scene. “I AM TIGER WOODS” were the words that were spoken by children from every corner of the United States. Programs, like the First Tee, blossomed across the country as golf became the cool sport to play.
Some watched Woods victories at Augusta and were inspired to take up the game. Some have played it well enough to receive a college scholarship , and there is yet another group that has managed to perfect their execution of the game to the point of playing it professionally.
A victory by Jordan Spieth could place him in the Pied Piper role that Woods took on almost 20 years ago. We will be following along today to see if Spieth stands on the green at 18 as the new champion, then continue to follow as he makes the short walk along the path between the first tee and practice green that leads to the Butler Cabin to receive his first green jacket. It would be a good thing for American golf, a good thing indeed.