Jordan Spieth immediately set his sights on retaining the Masters, after becoming the second youngest winner in the event’s history with a four-shot success at Augusta National on Sunday.
Spieth eased over the line, with Phil Mickelson and Justin Rose consigned to joint second and Rory McIlroy fourth. The 21-year-old’s final round of 70 enabled him to match the best Masters aggregate of 18 under, by Tiger Woods in 1997.
Spieth therefore atoned for a year ago, when he was beaten to the Green Jacket by Bubba Watson. “I want to be like Bubba,” Spieth said. “I want to win two Masters.
“I’m excited already to come back here as defending champion, for this year being Masters champion and all that comes with it. I know there is a heavy weight attached but I am ready for it. I’m sure I will figure it out.”
Despite appearing to be completely unaffected by pressure, Spieth admitted to inner doubt. “It was very nerve-racking today,” he said. “I thought it might be easier, having played a weekend round with the lead already but it wasn’t. I didn’t sleep a lot last night. With two major champions behind, I knew I couldn’t let up.
“It is the most incredible week of my life. This is as great as it gets in our sport and a dream come true for me. I didn’t break 70 here last year even having a chance to win, so shooting such low rounds was remarkable.
“I saw all my family and friends at the back of the 18th green. At that point I knew it was going to be a done deal but to be honest it still hasn’t kicked in. I am still in shock a little bit. My family haven’t been there when I have won before, so to be at this one is special.”
Mickelson, himself a three-time Masters champion, was among the first to highlight precisely how impressive Spieth’s showing was.
“I made some birdies out there but every time I did that, I stalled with a bogey,” Mickelson explained. “I played some great golf but thought I was outplayed. Jordan was terrific. I would have taken 14 under at the start of the week. I’d have thought that would have won. Eighteen under par is astounding because even though there were some birdies out there, this course is never a pushover. He is obviously a tremendous player but he is a tremendous individual too. I think it is hard not to like and pull for the guy.”
Woods closed with a 73 and share of 17th that was not widely predicted before the event. There was concern for the 14-time major winner on Sunday’s 9th hole, where he injured his wrist when hitting a tree root mid-shot.
“Not going to be around for a while,” said Woods in response to where his next tournament appearance will be. “I have a little time off, will go back to the drawing board, work on it again and refine what I’m doing.”
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