Golf: Spieth wins Augusta Masters, matches Woods record

Golf: Spieth wins Augusta Masters, matches Woods record

Monday, April 13, 2015 12:19 am

Jordan Spieth at the 18th green

Jordan Spieth at the 18th green

Jordan Spieth became the second youngest player to win the Masters on Sunday, finishing four strokes clear of the field.

The 21-year-old American closed with a 70 for an equal-best Masters total of 18-under par 270, matching the mark set by Tiger Woods in 1997.

Writing an epic conclusion to a week of domination at Augusta National, the 21-year-old American fired a two-under par 70 to finish on 18-under 270, matching the 72-hole tournament record set by Tiger Woods in 1997.

Spieth claimed the green jacket symbolic of Masters suprmeacy and the top prize of $1.8 million at the $10 million event.

England’s Rose, the 2013 US Open winner and Spieth’s last-pair playing partner, shot 70 to share second place on 274 with 44-year-old US left-hander Mickelson, a five-time major winner, who closed with a 69.

Spieth in Master's green jacket being embraced by Bubba Watson

Spieth in Master’s green jacket being embraced by Bubba Watson

World number one Rory McIlroy, seeking a third consecutive major win to complete his career Grand Slam, was fourth on 276 after a 66, one stroke ahead of Hideki Matsuyama, who also fired a 66.

“It’s awfully impressive,” McIlroy said of Spieth’s performance.

Woods, a 14-time major champion, fired a 73 to share 17th on 283, his best finish since 2013 and a sign that the worst of his physical and shotmaking woes might be behind him.

“Considering where I was… I’m really proud of it,” Woods said of his effort.

Spieth was a runner-up to Bubba Watson last year in his Masters debut after squandering a front-nine lead on Sunday, but this time responded four times when dropping a shot to his rivals, restoring his margin each time on the very next hole.

Spieth, who will jump from fourth to second in the world rankings, became the second-youngest winner in Masters history, five months older than Woods when he won his first major in 1997.

Also, Spieth became only the fifth wire-to-wire winner in Masters history, joining Craig Wood in 1941, Arnold Palmer in 1960, Jack Nicklaus in 1972 and Ray Floyd in 1976.

Starting with a four-stroke lead after setting the 36- and 54-hole Masters scoring records, the youngest 18-hole leader in Augusta National history answered every stumble quickly.

Three times on the front nine Rose trimmed Spieth’s lead to three shots and each time the Texan boosted his edge back to four on the very next hole.

When Rose made bogey at nine and Spieth followed with a 23-foot birdie putt at 10, the US prodigy’s lead was six shots over Rose and Mickelson with eight holes remaining.

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