Since we’ve had a major hives breakout here at Radio Blast HQ I didn’t have the time to record a recap of the first two days of The Masters. Not that anything needed to be written more than Spieth, Spieth, Spieth, but I there were some other interesting moments and some things to look forward to in Day 3.
Who Is Jordan Spieth?
What more can be said about this phenom Jordan Spieth? Well, a lot actually. He’s only been on the mainstream media’s radar for a little over a year when he finished second at the 2014 Masters.
We don’t know that much about this kid. We know he went to Texas and had a very good two seasons there before deciding to turn pro. We know he does pretty good with the ladies, just Google “Jordan Spieth Girlfriend”. Well played! But we have yet to learn much about who he is. Although if he keeps playing like this we will very quickly.
The most interesting part of Spieth’s game is that he doesn’t do anything extraordinarily well he just does the important things really well. Look at where he ranks in what is considered “important” stats from the albeit short 2015 season:
- Driving Distance 55th
- Driving Accuracy 101st
- Greens in Regulation 103rd
- Ball Striking 67th
However, lets take a look at what I think are the more important numbers. Keep in mind golf is one of the few sports where I welcome the analytics approach:
- Putting Average 1st
- 1 Putt Percentage 4th
- Putts Per Round 1st
- Scoring Average 3rd
You hear it all the time, “drive for show, putt for dough”. That’s exactly what Spieth does. Most amateurs spend all their practice time at the range when it would be better served at the putting green. (Are you listening me?)
He’s not as emote on the course like Tiger. He doesn’t have the the charisma of Phil. He doesn’t have the endorsements of Rory. He doesn’t have the fire and anger of Stenson (thank god, more on this in a minute). Truth be told, he’s very vanilla. And trust me I know there are many sports journalists around the country who have already written their “he’s too vanilla” columns just waiting to hit the “send” button.
But I don’t see him as vanilla. I see him as mature beyond his years. On a day when we saw two 37 year olds in Tiger and Henrik Stenson curse and break their clubs, we saw Jordan Spieth handle himself on the greatest cathedral in golf with nothing but grace and professionalism. I haven’t always been a fan of this new generation of 20 somethings but many of us “older folk” can learn from Spieth’s maturity in one of the most stressful of situations.
Someone Better Warn Stenson’s Locker
Yawn, another tournament, another broken club for Henrik Stenson. Unfrotunately, it’s now gotten tiresome and irritating. In our Masters Preview we talked about Bubba Watson being voted the “Most Despised Player” on the PGA Tour. What kind of a-hole does Bubba need to be to beat out Henrik Stenson for that award. Maybe if the award was called “Most Classless Player” on the PGA Tour Stenson would have it locked up.
Time and time again we see Stenson losing his cool on the course. Here’s a recap from Back9Network of some other “flare ups”: Henrik Stenson Breaks (Another) Club at Open Championship.
Let’s also not forget the several lockers, that he is allowed to use for the weekend, that he has destroyed. Why he doesn’t get called out for this more is beyond me. Maybe it’s because he’s not one of the top players in the world anymore. If there was a guy at your local club that did this, no one would want to play with him. And maybe no one on the tour does want to play with Stenson.
He’s a classless, selfish individual who needs his bottle and a diaper to match his personality.
Weekend Story Lines
Jordan Spieth has built a tremendous lead on his way to the lowest 36 hole score in the history of The Masters. Unfortunately, there are many other players who are also having great rounds.
Charley Hoffman: All of the pressure in the world is on Spieth. How he handles the mental part of the game will be determined. But for Hoffman there is no pressure. No offense to Charley Hoffman but he could go into any bar or restaurant in Augusta, GA and no one would notice. Spieth on the other hand has to go into hibernation mode to avoid the press. Advantage Hoffman.
Dustin Johnson: Much has been written about Johnson’s “absence” from the Tour. We may never know the circumstances behind it. What we do know is that the time off has certainly served Johnson well. He is playing the greatest golf of his career. He had 3 Eagles on Friday. 3! No one in the history of The Masters has ever had 3 in one round. If he can keep his demons at bay and kind his mind focused he can put a lot of pressure on Spieth.
Phil Mickelson: Phil was my “dark horse” pick in our Masters Preview. Something just happens when Phil drives up Magnolia Lane. It doesn’t matter how Phil is playing leading up to The Masters something just clicks. He loves this course. But here is the reason why I think Phil will be “must watch” through the weekend. He has nothing to lose. Phil doesn’t go to Augusta to finish second, he goes to win. And in order to win he needs to lay it all on the line the next two days. What does that mean? It means “old Phil” will probably make his return. The swashbuckling player who is one of the most fun players in the history of the game to watch. You watch for the incredible shots:
But you also watch for the train wreck shots:
Either way it is going to be fun to see Old Phil back.
Tiger & Sergio: And if uncomfortable tension is your thing, don’t forget to check out Tiger and Sergio paired together on Saturday. Two guys who have had their heat in the past. Plus there’s well you know, Tiger.
It Ain’t Over til It’s Over
Make no mistake there is still a lot of golf left to play this weekend. But given how well the others behind Spieth are playing by 7pm on Sunday the headline will be either: “Spieth Laps the Field to Become the Next Tiger” or “Spieth Becomes the Next Greg Norman” It’s his to lose right now can that maturity and short game carry him to Masters glory?