Danny Willet Wins The 80th Masters
Augusta, Georgia – 63 holes into the 80th Masters it appeared that twenty two year old Texan Jordan Spieth was about to put his stamp on his title defense. Birdies on both the 8th and 9th had Spieth at 7 under par, but as is often said: The 80th Masters doesn’t start until the back nine on Sunday.
After back to back bogeys to start the back nine, Spieth stepped up to the tee on the par 3 twelfth -“Golden Bell” and after some deliberation with caddie Michael Greller, Spieth miss hit his tee shot and watched his lead roll into Rae’s Creek. After taking a drop, Spieth then layed the sod over what was his third shot (into the hazard again). After another drop, now hitting his fifth – the World No.2 air mailed the green into the back bunker and made quadruple bogey 7. It was tough to put the moment into perspective. After controlling the Masters for the last 7 1/2 rounds, Spieth simply self destructed.
Spieth said afterward, “This one hurt, it’ll take awhile.”
Meanwhile, Englishman Danny Willet suddenly found himself on top of the leaderboard. Willet birdied the 13th, 14th and after a clutch swing on the 16th, he rolled in his 7 footer to reach 5 under par.
A fantastic up and down from the left side of the par 4 seventeenth allowed the 28 year old (ranked twelfth in the world) to play the 72nd hole without much tension. After a striped 3 wood onto the shortgrass, Willet hit 7 iron to within 12 feet. When he tapped in for his two putt par for 67 (283 total), it was just a waiting game to see if anyone could challenge the leader in the clubhouse. Dustin Johnson (-1) and Lee Westwood (-2) each mounted their own rally, but dropped off coming down the stretch.
Spieth had battled back after the debacle at the twelfth with birdies at the thirteenth and fifteenth. After he stiffed his 8 iron on the par 3 – 16th, he had a 6 foot left to right breaker to inch another shot closer to Willet. When he failed to convert, the air came out of the balloon and the title of The 80th Masters Champion belonged to Danny Willet. “I’ve won other events around the world, said Willet . . . but this one is on another level.”
Danny Willet is projected to move to ninth in the Official World Golf Ranking.
Leaderboard for the 80th Masters: http://www.masters.com/en_US/scores/index.html