It’s true … The Masters Tournament really doesn’t begin until the Back Nine Sunday.
Defending champion Jordan Spieth’s meltdown choke on No. 12 producing a quadruple bogey 7 at the 152-yard par 3 coupled with Danny Willett’s flawless round of 5-under-67 completed a dramatic finish to the 80th Masters at Augusta National.
Willett, 28, became the first player other than Nick Faldo in the 90s to win the Green Jacket. His 5-under tally for the week was 13 shots off Spieth’s total last year.
Willett, who was runner-up in the season-long European Tour Race to Dubai standings last season, won the Omega Dubai Desert Classic in February for his 4th European Tour title. He was making just this second Masters appearance.
While the Top 10 in the Official World Golf Ranking remaining relatively unchanged
led by Jason Day, Spieth and Rory McIlroy, Willett moved from 12th to 9th with his victory. That knocked Patrick Reed out of the Top 10.
Lee Westwood finished T-2 at 2-under alongside Spieth. The effort jumped Westwood up 32 places to No. 35 in the latest rankings.
Paul Casey, Dustin Johnson and J.B. Holmes were the only other players under par for the week at Augusta. They ended up T-4 at 1-under overall. Casey posted 67 in the final round.
Hideki Matsuyama, Matthew Fitzpatrick and Soren Kjeldsen were T-7 at even par, while the 1-over tallies were T-10 including Day, McIlroy, Justin Rose, Brandt Snedeker and Daniel Berger.
Other Golf News:
- Three aces at No. 16 at Augusta generated excitement in the gallery prior to the Spieth missteps. Shane Lowry, Davis Love III and Louis Oosthuizen all made a hole-in-one in the final round. Oosty’s was the best bouncing off a his opponent’s ball and continuing on into the hole.
- Everyone in the Top 12 is automatically invited back next season including newcomers Fitzpatrick (T-7) and Berger (T-10).
- Spieth was denied his opportunity to become just the fourth player to defend at Augusta and the only one in major championship history to lead wire-to-wire to
win in back-to-back years.
- Westwood, a former World No. 1 player, logged his eighth Top 3 finish in a major championship without a victory. Reports have Westwood returning to his roots on the European Tour and forgoing his PGA Tour membership.
- Smylie Kaufman’s run came to end Sunday at the Masters. Playing in the final pairing a shot back with his chance at history, he struggled to make putts early and slipped back eventually shooting 81 and ending up T-29.