21-Year-Old Jordan Spieth Wins Masters Golf Tournament

Originally published on April 13, 2015 12:02 pm
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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

OK, let's not get too far ahead of ourselves, but what happened over the last few days in Augusta, Ga, will surely go down as one of the great sports stories of 2015. The Masters, one of golf's most prestigious tournaments, is so steeped in history and tradition, and yet, a 21-year-old named Jordan Spieth owned the course this year. The American golfer won his first major ever. And let's talk about this with USA Today sports columnist Christine Brennan, who is on the line from Augusta. Hey, Christine.

CHRISTINE BRENNAN: Hey, David. How are you?

GREENE: I'm well, thank you. So you have covered this the last few days. Jordan Spieth leads this tournament from beginning to end. I mean, it just sounds remarkable.

BRENNAN: Oh, it was, yeah. And he should be graduating from college, from Texas, in a couple of weeks if he had stayed there. Of course he didn't. He decided to make the decision a few years ago to come out and try it on the PGA tour and boy, oh, boy, has this been a success. Spieth was in the lead, as you said, from the get-go, shooting a 64 which was eight under, then a 66, following it up with a 70 on Saturday, a 70 on Sunday, underpar all four days.

You hear a lot about golfers talking about sleeping on the lead and how difficult it is to come back out knowing that you're the leader. A year ago, Spieth got close, was in the final group on Sunday and could not put it together. He took all that knowledge 52 weeks later and was able to cobble it together in a beautiful way - great shot making, great class, sportsmanship, and he won at 21, the second-youngest to ever win the Masters.

GREENE: You know, you wrote about the sportsmanship. I mean, you said that if he represents a changing of the guard, quote, "it's a big win for the good guys." What impressed you about him?

BRENNAN: Well, several things. First of all, there was the thumbs-up that people may have seen on television on the seventh hole. His playing partner and rival Justin Rose actually shaved a shot off of Spieth's lead at that hole, and there Spieth's giving them the thumbs up for a beautiful shot.

GREENE: Oh, that's nice.

BRENNAN: You would never see that in any other sport where a rival actually - that was bad for Spieth, and yet he's giving a thumbs-up to Justin Rose on a great shot. He also - the worst thing that comes out of his mouth is dang it or, oh, Jordan.

GREENE: (Laughter).

BRENNAN: He is every bit the G-rated golfer that Tiger Woods is not. And I think we're trading up on that in terms of behavior and manners if, in fact - if Spieth is the next Tiger and the guy that's going to be the great American golfer moving forward. And also at the very end - I don't know if you noticed, David - but Jordan Spieth, after he hugged his mom and dad, both college athletes, his brother, his girlfriend, he came back out onto the green and saluted the crowd, applauding them.

GREENE: Wow.

BRENNAN: I've never seen that before in golf.

GREENE: Wow. That is quite a moment. Again, Jordan Spieth, 21 years old, wins, leads from beginning to end at the Masters in Augusta, Ga. We were speaking about it with USA Today columnist Christine Brennan who covered the tournament. Christine, thanks as always.

BRENNAN: Oh, David, my pleasure. Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.