By Ann Liguori
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The golf world has a refreshing new champion. And lucky for the sports world, he’s exemplary on and off the course.
There may not be enough adjectives to describe this young man but ‘respectful,’ ‘humble,’ ‘thoughtful,’ ‘driven’ and ‘composed’ is a good start.
Spieth fulfilled a boyhood dream of winning the Masters, becoming the first wire-to-wire winner since Raymond Floyd in 1976.
His score of 18 under par, 270, ties the 72-hole scoring record set by Tiger Woods, 18 years ago.
“It’s incredible,” exclaimed the 21-year-old. “It’s one of the best feelings I’ve ever felt. This was arguably the greatest day of my life.”
Spieth displayed tremendous composure in managing his nerves and protecting his lead, despite the star power — Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods, who made their presence felt, on and off, throughout the weekend. And the roars were intense.
Mickelson shot a 3 under 69 to tie for second with Justin Rose. Spieth and Rose shot 2 under 70.
Spieth became the first player to reach 19 under par when he birdied the 15th but a bogey on the 18th ended up tying the record. He also sunk 26th birdies which breaks Phil Mickelson’s record of 25 birdies.
“The hardest part,” Spieth admitted “was managing the situation and the mental side. I knew physically that I could be there.”
“There’s a lot of time to think. That’s the toughest part about a round like today. When you’re in the lead by a few shots with two major champions…there’s a lot of time to think through scenarios and listen to the roars.”
“Once we got to 16, that’s when it started to kick in that we were getting close to the finish line and other thoughts started to come in. But unlike in the past, in the distant past, say a year ago, this time, I was ready to make those putts.”
Phil Mickelson and Justin Rose finished tied for second.
Tiger tied for 17th. Rory McIlroy, with a 6 under 66, fought his way to a 4th place finish.
But the week belonged to Jordan Spieth, winning his first Major Championship.
The next generation of golf has arrived. And it’s in good hands with Jordan Spieth, a class act on and off the course.