Jordan Spieth is making things look easy at this year’s Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia. Through two rounds of play, Spieth was making history with a 14 under, and a 130 after 36 holes. The score is a two-day record at the Masters and only three other players have ever matched it in major championship history.
It was at times hard to believe that the Masters Tournament was only half over with everything Spieth had already done. He has gotten multiple standing ovations from the large crowds at Augusta on multiple holes, and of course, was 14 under through two rounds. It is something he is enjoying and hopes that it carries over through Sunday. If he continues playing the way he has thus far, there is no reason why it would not. He is playing so well that hitting a par at this point would be a disappointment. Spieth has birdied 15 times so far through two rounds and has only bogeyed once.
At the end of the second round on Friday, Spieth had a respectable five stroke lead over second place Charley Hoffman. It is actually a credit to Hoffman and how well he is playing that he is only five strokes behind. Hoffman had been trying to keep up with Spieth for most of the day. He got three birdies on the back nine, which certainly helped, and then, hit a bogey on 18 with a score of 135. For the past three years at Augusta, that score would have had Hoffman in the lead after two, but not this year.
Phil Mickelson’s comeback in the second round would have been the talk of the course, had Jordan Spieth not been making it look easy. He played one of the best rounds of the day and posted up a final score of 68, putting him in sole possession of sixth place after 36 holes.
Dustin Johnson had a record-setting day himself. He moved into a three-way tie for third place at seven under with Justin Rose and Paul Casey, finishing the round at 67. However, history was made when he became the first player to sink three eagles in the same round at a Masters Tournament.
One score card that did not matter was Ben Crenshaw’s. The two-time Masters Tournament champion played in his final competitive round at Augusta on Friday. Although he missed the cut to move forward, there was not a dry eye on the course for the warm embrace he shared with his longtime caddie, Carl Johnson, on the eighteenth green.
As for Spieth, he is truly on his way and should find this encouraging. The only three other players to end their second round at the Masters Tournament with a five stroke lead were Herman Keiser in 1937, Jack Nicklaus in 1975, and Raymond Floyd in 1976. They all went on to win the tournament. Floyd was also the player that held the Masters Tournament 36 hole record of 131, that is, until yesterday.
Knowing those things can certainly give a young golfer the courage needed going into the final two rounds. Perhaps, the most contributing factor of how well Spieth is playing at this year’s Masters Tournament is the experience he gained being at Augusta last year. He recalls having a great start last year as well, and almost gave himself the chance to win but started to fade. This year, he knows that those final two rounds can sometimes feel like a whole new tournament. He plans to use the knowledge as he continues to make easy work out of this year’s Masters Tournament.
By Alec Rosenberg