Jordan Spieth burst onto the scene on golf’s biggest stage last year when he won the Masters with a record score of 18 under par. It was a golfing clinic reminiscent of Tiger Woods’ Masters debut in 1997 when he won by the same score.
One year later, Spieth is attempting to match another one of Woods’ accomplishments: repeating as Masters champion.
Woods was the last to do it, in 2001 and 2002. Nick Faldo accomplished the feat in 1989 and 1990, as did Jack Nicklaus in 1965 and 1966. No one else has won consecutive green jackets.
“Last year was a phenomenal year for any player, much less for a 22-year-old,’ former U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange recently said of Spieth, per The Daily Mail. “It could turn out 20 years from now that could be his absolutely best stretch of his life. I don’t think so, I hope not, but it very well could be. If he holds himself to the standard that he played for four or five months last year, it’s going to be difficult to repeat day in and day out.”
Duplicating his success from 2015 will be extraordinary difficult, but Spieth still has a better chance to win the Masters this week than most golfers in the field. He proved his triumph at Augusta was no fluke by following it up with a victory at the U.S. Open and then finishing fifth at the British Open and second at the PGA Championship. He closed 2015 with seven wins, a PGA Tour-record $12,030,485 in winnings and the best scoring average of any golfer.
Spieth’s remarkable poise, striking off the tee (nearly 70 percent of fairways hit at the 2015 Masters), clinical short game (12 under par on par 5s at the 2015 Masters) and accurate putting gives him as well-rounded of a skill set as any golfer in the world.
Spieth already has a win under his belt this year, too. He crushed the Hyundai Tournament of Champions with an incredible 30-under-par score. Even though he has lost the No. 1 world ranking to Jason Day, the defending PGA Championship winner, Spieth enters the Masters in good form and with plenty of experience at Augusta.
Spieth never has finished lower than second at the Masters, and based on his previous results at Augusta and his recent performance on the PGA Tour, there’s no reason to believe his good fortune at America’s most prestigious course will end anytime soon.
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