Until late in the final round of the 2016 Masters, young Jordan Spieth led the historic tournament for seven straight rounds. Unfortunately, a couple bogeys followed his blowup on the No. 12 hole granted Danny Willett the lead and ultimately the green jacket. It would appear that Spieth took on Amen
Corner and was defeated by KO late in the fight.
In 2015, Spieth had a record performance, tying Tiger Woods for the lowest 72-hole score of 270. In 2016, Spieth attempted to share a second record with Tiger: back-to-back Masters victories. At the age of 22, he would have also been the youngest ever to do so. However, his final combined score of 286 proved to fall short of granting him this feat.
From being under par every day in 2015, 64-66-70-70, in 2016 Spieth only posted one score under par: 66 in the first round. After day one, he posted near par rounds of 74-73-73, ending up three strokes short of the lead.
Going into the final round, Spieth (-3 for the tournament) led the field by one stroke. After posting four consecutive birdies to end the front nine, he brought his total to -7 for the tournament. However, he collapsed at Amen Corner. Speith opened the second nine with back-to-back bogeys and then
quadruple-bogeyed the No. 12 hole.
On this beautiful par-3 over water to an uphill green, Spieth hit an iron that hit the green and rolled backwards into the water. He then opted to drop a ball 68 yards back and chunked his next shot way short into the pond again. In this one hole, all the momentum Spieth had been building up was completely lost. He dropped four shots, leaving him back at -3, the exact place where he had started the round that afternoon. At that same time, Willett was picking up steam. From starting the day even in the tournament, Willett posted a remarkable score of 67, finishing the day at -5 and snagging his first green jacket.
Willett had an all-around impressive performance throughout the tournament. He posted only one round above par: 74 on day two. He posted two rounds under par, 70 and 67, which occurred on the first and last days. His highest score was a bogey, which only happened eight times in 72 holes. Additionally, he had a clean card on the final day, shooting 13 pars and five birdies to come from behind and claim the victory.
With his win on Sunday, Danny became only the second Englishman to ever win at Augusta National. Additionally, his victory ended a 17-year drought of European victories at the Masters. Incredibly, Willett hadn’t even planned on competing this year. His wife, who was scheduled to give birth on the day of the Masters, happened to have the baby 12 days early, allowing Danny to compete at Augusta. It would seem that Danny had fierce-new-father syndrome, keeping his cool and getting hot at the right time, enabling him to bring home a green jacket and a fat purse to redesign the baby’s room. Congrats to the Willett family on all their recent successes. Hopefully Danny will continue to play at a high level and Spieth will be able to shake off this loss and give him some friendly competition.