Jordan Spieth had one of the most masterful – pun intended – performances in Augusta National history this past weekend, winning the Masters in record-setting fashion. Spieth, 21, tied or broke numerous records, shooting an 18-under 270 to become the first wire-to-wire Masters winner since 1976.
Phil Mickelson and Justin Rose tied for second with a 14-under 274. Mickelson has finished runner-up at a major 10 times in his storied career, while Rose has top-four finishes at all four majors and has won the U.S. Open.
But Sunday, as was the case all weekend, was all about Spieth, who is now the No. 2-ranked golfer in the world. Spieth finished runner-up to Bubba Watson at the 2014 Masters and is now arguably the hottest name in the game.
Did we mention Spieth is only 21?
How does a player so young manage to stay so cool and so focused even in the most pressure-packaged situations?
“I think (it’s) the vision that he has with regards to what he’s capable of doing,” John Fields – Spieth’s coach at the University of Texas – said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “For some reason, he dreams big. He puts himself in the moment, and when he arrives there, it’s something that he enjoys certainly. He wanted to be there, and he is there and is pretty accepting of it. He has two great parents. Dad played baseball in college at Lehigh, and his mother played Division III basketball. Just a family of athletes and very successful.”
And to think, Spieth could still be in college right now. Yes, when we think of “one-and-done” or college players leaving early for the pros, we usually think of basketball and football. But it happens in golf, too.
“Love it,” Fields said of the rule. “Jack Nicklaus played two years at Ohio State. John Cook played two years at Ohio State. Ben Crenshaw played three at Texas and Jordan played one-and-a-half years. Tiger played two at Stanford. It’s going to happen when you’ve got somebody with remarkable talent and opportunity and intelligence. I know if Brian (Jones) was offered X number of million dollars, he’s intelligent enough to probably say, ‘You know what? It’s time for me to go.’ And us Longhorns think alike. So it was one of those things – great opportunity, great ability, the timing was just right, and for him, it was okay. We want to be successful in this world.”
Fields knew almost immediately that Spieth would be exactly that.
“I’ll tell you,” Fields said. “The one thing that Jordan (did to separate) himself in college was he got to play in seven PGA Tour events, including the U.S. Open. He made five cuts, and he told me the reason he turned pro. We talked about the money, and he said, ‘Coach, it’s not about the money. I just think I can be successful out there on tour because I made five cuts out of the seven that I played in, and I never had my A-game.’ And he said, ‘If I can make cuts on the PGA Tour without my A-game, then I think I can have success.’”
As it turns out, he was right.
“I’m thinking he’s (going to be) as good as (we think he’ll be) – and that’s pretty spectacular stuff,” Fields said. “I think one day Jordan will be that guy, and it may not be too far away.”