By Ann Liguori
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Jordan Spieth continued to dominate the competition at Augusta National on Friday. His 6-under 66 after a first-round 8-under 64 set a new record — a 14-under 130, the lowest 36-hole score ever at the Masters. It also tied the lowest 36-hole score ever in a major.
His two-round total surpassed Raymond Floyd’s record 36-hole total of 13-under, which stood since 1976.
“Any time you can set a record here is pretty awesome,” remarked the 21-year-old Spieth, who shows maturity beyond his years, on and off the course.
Spieth said what he learned most about last year’s second-place finish here was patience. He realizes this is only the halfway point and he can’t get ahead of himself.
“As far as history and what happened the last couple days, (it) doesn’t mean anything unless I can close it out,” he said. “I don’t want to go in as the 36-hole best record, but somebody who didn’t win.”
Spieth birdied holes 2, 5, 8, 10, 13, 15 and barely missed birdie putts on holes 9 and 18.
He strikes the ball with incredible precision and consistency. And his putting has been phenomenal.
The young Texan received a standing ovation on several holes on the back nine.
“The patrons are what make the Masters what it is,” Spieth said. “To get standing ovations on the back nine walking up to greens, certain greens. Twelve was a sea of people, 15, 16 were really special, then 18, people were standing up …you dream of walking up 18 with that kind of ovation. You also dream of it happening on Sunday.”
Ironically, while Spieth was gaining more fame with his brilliant play, his mentor, two-time Masters champion and fellow Texan Ben Crenshaw, played his very last Masters after 44 appearances.
Crenshaw received a standing ovation of his own. His longtime caddie, Carl Jackson, who is dealing with health issues, couldn’t caddie for him this week but was on the 18th to hug him.
“I’m feeling like I won the tournament,” the 63-year-old said about the reception he received. “This place has meant the world to me. It’s a place I’m most comfortable. … I feel very, very proud to have played a small part of this place.”
“You think of Ben Crenshaw, you think of Augusta National and the Masters and his victories,” said Spieth.
And I’m sure Spieth would one day like the same for him.