Bridesmaids in Golf, often become the bride very soon after the big day.
Fortunately for Jordan Spieth and the Masters, they are already married and are simply looking to renew his vows.
The burning impression of Jordan taking 7 at the Par 3 12th last year, will be talked to the death next week when the world of Sport returns to Augusta National Golf Club, in Atlanta, GA.
We all know what happened next; chunk … splash … chunk … splash.
So, why pick him for this year?
First of all, Augusta National is made for the ultimate precision player that is Jordan Spieth.
Second, Dustin’s putting, and Rory always has one bad round.
Finally, last year’s experience combined with a consistent season have set him up perfectly for the first Major of the year.
Why Augusta loves Jordan (and vice versa)
Spieth’s stats at Augusta are just ridiculous.
His win in 2015 tied Tiger’s record score of -18 at The Masters in 1997, set the record for the most amount of birdies over the tournament, and was the second youngest winner after Tiger. The win, was the first wire to wire winner since 1976.
Before the final round in 2016, he had led The Masters for seven consecutive rounds.
And on, and on, and on, we could ramble.
Looking deeper than just the numbers, experience tells us that those who roll their rock the best will be there come Sunday. It is usually the best putters, or someone who has a great putting week, that wins.
Jordan in 2015, averaged 26.5 putts per round, which works out as one putting more than one in every two greens.
Granted it is not as good as where it was then, however, it is not far away.
This PGA Tour season, Jordan is hitting more greens in regulation than anyone else, so if the putter does get hot, there is simply no contest at Augusta.
Chinks in Opponents’ Armour
One should really take a long, hard, critical look at oneself in the mirror before saying anything bad about DJ at the moment.
So now that’s done, here goes…
Dustin is shaky with the putter at Augusta.
Three double bogeys last year are a testament to that, and that three putt at Chambers Bay is still (over)talked about.
His length can over power most courses, but Augusta cannot be pigeonholed in that sense. Precision is the all-important quality between the ropes in April and whilst that part of his game is certainly getting better, he just is not quite as clutch as Jordan.
Regarding Mr Mcilroy, as a European I would love to be writing this effusively about the Northern Irishman. However, whilst he is certainly part of the Big-3 vs. The Field equation, (removing J-Day due to extenuating family circumstances) he always has one bad round at Augusta.
2014 – 2nd Round 77: Finished eight shots off the lead
2015 – 1st Round 71: Not bad but 28 players were either tied or better on a soft Augusta National
2016 – 3rd Round 77: Finished six shots off the lead
Jaime Diaz alluded to Mcilroy after Arnie’s tournament at Bay Hill as the game’s purest and most breathtaking ball striker. But it is abundantly clear that he is still too loose.
“World-class competitive golf remains primarily a game of avoiding mistakes. And McIlroy, compared to two players he approaches in talent—Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods—makes too many of them.”
When he is 100% on, he will give DJ a run for his money. But currently, there is still some looseness in there.
Under the Radar Perhaps?
Coming into Augusta, Jordan is really nicely placed. Eight events, zero missed cuts, one win, five top tens, and never outside the top thirty.
The way he cruised to victory at Pebble for the AT&T was 2015-esque. Never really out of third gear, his putting display was fantastic.
His most recent comments about DJ being the favourite coming into next week are also interesting;
“I think Dustin Johnson is the guy to beat in golf no matter where you are.
If I play my best golf, I believe that I can take down anybody, and you have to believe that.”
Well at Augusta, despite Dustin being the form horse, Jordan Spieth’s vows are to be renewed in the Butler’s Cabin next Sunday.
It will be Willett helping Spieth into the green jacket this time, rather than the other way around.