Peach State Sports Blog

Shirley: Spieth showing why he's special

AUGUSTA -- The Masters, obviously, is a four-round event.

And much like football coaches talk about their teams needing to play four quarters, golfers try to not get too far ahead of themselves before all four rounds are complete.

But it’s going to be difficult for anyone to catch Jordan Spieth this weekend at Augusta National Golf Club. So let’s get ahead ourselves for him.

Spieth is going to win the Masters on Sunday. After shooting rounds of 64-66, he is at 14-under-par 130 and has a five-shot lead entering the third round Saturday.

Spieth, who is just 21, broke Raymond Floyd’s 36-hole record in this tournament and tied the 36-hole record for any major. That’s special stuff, and he’s not going to lose that lead the next two days.

Yes, there are good players chasing him. Dustin Johnson has as much talent as anyone in the game, and Justin Rose has a U.S. Open to his credit. They are tied for third at 7 under with Paul Casey. That’s pretty good, and it might even be in the lead at the halfway point in most years.

But this week, it just means they are seven shots out of the lead.

Think about it this way: Johnson shot a 67 on Friday, and he lost ground to Spieth. Rose was only three shots out of the lead after he shot a 67 on Thursday when Spieth shot a 64.

In between them and Spieth is Charley Hoffman, who has shot rounds of 67-68 to sit at 9 under, which is a really good score. Just this week, it’s not good enough.

Spieth is just that good, and this week he has been too good for this field and too good for this course.

Through two rounds, Spieth has 15 birdies, 20 pars and one bogey. He has birdied 42 percent of the holes he has played. That’s remarkable in any tournament. But to do that in a major, especially in this major, is special. It’s the stuff legends, even at 21, are made of.

It really shouldn’t be a surprise. Spieth was one of the favorites to win the tournament this week. But no one could have seen this coming, even though we probably should have.

Spieth is that talented, that good and that solid in all aspects of the game. He doesn’t get flustered when he hits bad shots (if he has hit one this week), and he just keeps focused on hitting the next good shot (there have been a lot of those this week).

Anything can happen in the course of two days in this tournament, and many times, we have seen the unthinkable happen. Greg Norman can attest to that; Rory McIlroy even more recently. But those things aren’t going to happen this week.

Spieth is just too good to let them.

Contact Daniel Shirley at 744-4227 or dshirley@macon.com

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