Masters Sunday has been a long and eventful day, but Augusta has delivered. And we’ve got a new familiar name to add back to the mix, who’s coming from record distance to get back in the conversation.
A slow — but by no means disastrous — start from Rory McIlroy and Patrick Reed atop the leaderboard left the door ajar for other contenders to pull into contention alongside the 2016 Ryder Cup redux. And, hey, look guess who peeked their head through that little opening.
Jordan Spieth was on fire to start his Sunday round, firing a 5-under 31 on the front nine to pull within as few as three shots of Patrick Reed’s lead. Birdies at 1, 2, 5, 8 and 9 and no shots given back usually does the trick to pull one back into contention — and it could’ve been even better. He missed a short birdie putt on the 7th that probably should’ve been a make, and nearly dropped in another 25-footer on the 10th to kick off his back nine.
After nine he was four behind Patrick Reed -- who lived on the edge a bit through the first handful of holes and is probably lucky to be at level par for the day. If he can avenge his demons at the 12th, he’ll have opportunities to pick up shots at the par-5s 13 and 15. If he can grab three more birds on this back nine, 13-under might have a decent chance when posted out ahead of the leaders.
Oh, and yeah by the way -- if Spieth is able to pull this off, it’ll be the biggest Masters comeback in history. Jack Burke, Jr. owns the record at the Masters with an eight-shot final round comeback in a 1958 win over Ken Venturi. Spieth started Sunday nine shots behind Reed’s overnight lead at 14-under.
UPDATE: Remember Spieth’s issues at the 12th? Uh, we can put those to bed. Two birdies on the 12th and 13th have our 2015 Masters champ chasing not only the biggest comeback ever, but possibly the course record at Augusta. He’s currently two off the pace of the 9-under record of 63 held by Greg Norman and Nick Price.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Y’all. That’s the record. That’s 63 and to equal the lead. He’s got two to play. This might be the best major championship round ever we’re watching.
After hitting par on 14, then came to back-to-back birdies on 15 and 16 before a par on 17. Hole 18 might have cost him the green jacket — he bogeyed after missing a putt for par that was just off the mark. He couldn’t even believe he missed it:
A few things just happened. Spieth missed this putt for par on 18 and had to settle for bogey to close out his round at -8. he now is 2 strokes back of Reed. We’ll be keeping our eyes on reed as he is just now teeing off on 16 at #themasters pic.twitter.com/xNZu4xWF1E— Kappa Sigma CMU (@CMUKappaSigma) April 8, 2018
The problem for Spieth happened on his tee shot — he hit the top of the trees which made it go way short, a whole 267 yards to the hole.
Had his tee shot gone further, he could have potentially made birdie, but was set up nicely for par regardless.
The round didn’t end how he wanted it, but Spieth put together a hell of a round, especially considering how far back he was coming in on Sunday. He finished one back from Reed, and was just one stroke shy of tying the course record at 63. Let’s not forget that he’s just 24 years old, and nearly pulled off the biggest Masters comeback ever.
Can’t wait to see what you do next, Spieth.