What we learned from the 2015 Masters


The Appalachian Online

The Appalachian

The player who has been playing the best golf won. And the beautiful thing is, that’s how it should be.

Jordan Spieth came into the Masters having won once and finished second twice in his last three tournaments before teeing it up at Augusta National last week.

Spieth continued his strong from with a stunning, record setting showing, setting new scoring records for the 36- and 54-hole mark, while tying the 72-hole scoring record of 270 – 18-under – previously set by Tiger Woods.

With the win, Spieth moves to second in the World Rankings behind only Rory McIlroy.

Spieth was 14-under par entering the weekend where he posted consecutive rounds of 2-under-par to cruise to a four-shot victory and his first major championship.

Spieth nearly broke the all time Masters scoring record had he been able to hole his par putt at the last to shoot 269, a score of 19-under, for the week.

Phil Mickelson and Justin Rose came up short in their comeback quests as they both finished in a tie for second place at 14-under.

Fortunately, it was a strong showing for both players as it was Phil’s first top 10 finish since last year’s PGA Championship and Rose’s best showing this year in what has been a disappointing season thus far for the 2013 US Open Champion.

Both players will look to carry momentum as the golfing world turns its eyes to the US Open in June.

McIlroy finished in fourth place after a final round 66 that put him at 12-under for the tournament.

McIlroy came into the Masters needing a Green Jacket to complete his bid for the Career grand slam but instead will have to wait until next year to try again.

It was Friday’s lackluster play that doomed the Irishman as he posted a score of 4-over 40 on the front nine in his second round that kept him out of serious contention for the week.

McIlroy’s playing partner for the final round was none other than Tiger Woods, who made his competitive return to golf this past week after a self imposed two month hiatus from the game in order to practice and return to championship level play. Unsurprisingly, Woods exceeded all expectations, after finishing in a tie for 17th place despite shooting two rounds of 1-over-par for the week.

Woods started the day tied for 5th, 10 shots behind Jordan Spieth. Woods was never able to gather any momentum in his final round, hitting only two fairways out of a possible 14.

With the win, Spieth became the second youngest winner in Masters history at just 21 years, six months of age. The outcome was never in doubt as no player was ever able to get closer than three shots of Spieth’s ginormous lead on the weekend.

Spieth’s win seems to be the beginning of a new, younger era of golf filled with enormous talent and countless future stars.

For so long the game lived on the shoulders of Woods and how great he once was.

Fortunately for the sport, with the arrival of Spieth and McIlroy as well as many others, golf no longer seems to need Woods to be great as in years past.

While no player will likely be able to match Woods’ accomplishments, or dominate the game like he did for so long, their collective star should be able to take the reins with ease.

Golf’s new era is here and it is as bright as can be.

Column: Lee Sanderlin, Sports Reporter