Augusta, GA (SportsNetwork.com) – Jordan Spieth bogeyed the final hole on Sunday, but the only thing it cost him was a Masters record.
Spieth closed with a 2-under 70 to win the Masters by four strokes. The win was his first major championship title.
The 21-year-old Texan was the first to reach 19-under par at the Masters with a birdie at the 15th, but his bogey at the 18th left him at 18-under-par 270, which tied him with Tiger Woods for low 72-hole score in tournament history.
“It was very nerve-wrecking today. I thought today might be a little easier than yesterday having played a round with the lead, but it wasn’t,” Spieth admitted. “I didn’t sleep well last night. I got out here and got into a little rhythm, saw a putt go in on the first hole, and we were off. I mean, with two major champions right behind, I couldn’t let up.”
Spieth, who became second-youngest Masters champion, was the first player since Raymond Floyd in 1976 to win the Masters in wire-to-wire fashion.
“It’s the most incredible week of my life. This is as great as it gets in our sport. This is a dream come true for me,” stated Spieth. “I didn’t break 70 last year even having a chance to win, where I got edged by Bubba (Watson) here, but to shoot some low rounds and to see some putts go in out here and hear those roars, it was remarkable.”
Three-time champion Phil Mickelson closed with a 3-under 69 to grab a share of second place at minus-14. Justin Rose, the 2013 U.S. Open champion, also bogeyed the last for a 2-under 70 and a share of second with Mickelson.
World No. 1 Rory McIlroy and Hideki Matsuyama both fired 6-under 66s to tie for the low round of the day. McIlroy, who was looking to complete the career grand slam, ended alone in fourth at 12-under-par 276.
“I played well. Obviously very happy with how the weekend went and even the last nine holes Friday, which I needed to just get in to the weekend,” McIlroy said. “Going to take a lot of positives from it. I would have taken 12-under at the start of the week.”
Matsuyama was one back at minus-11. Dustin Johnson closed with a 3-under 69 to finish in sixth at 9-under-par 279. He was joined there by Englishman Paul Casey (68) and Ian Poulter (67).
Former Masters winner Zach Johnson shot 68 to tie for ninth at minus-8. Hunter Mahan (67) and Charley Hoffman (74) tied for ninth with Johnson.
Woods, a four-time Masters winner, overcame a mid-round injury to his right arm to card a 1-over 73. He fell into a share of 17th at 5-under-par 283. It was his best finish since a tie for 11th at 2013 BMW Championship.
“I needed to probably shoot 31 on the front nine to at least make a little bit of a run. I missed three shorties in a row at two, three and four,” Woods said. “Didn’t gather any momentum after that, and the round was basically a struggle from there.”
Watson, last year’s winner, struggled to a 2-over 74 and finished his title defense in a tie for 38th at 1-over-par 289.
Spieth opened with a 4-shot lead over Rose, but the Englishman birdied the first from 20 feet out. That trimmed Spieth’s lead to three for the first time since early in the second round.
Not to worry. Spieth answered Rose from 10 feet closer to regain his 4-shot cushion. Rose came right back with a 2-putt birdie at the par-5 second to again get within three as Spieth made par.
Spieth drained a 17-footer for birdie at the third and was once again four clear. A poor chip at the fifth led to a bogey for Spieth.
Rose came up short with his tee shot at the sixth and that led to a bogey. Spieth dropped a shot on No. 7 and was three clear.
If there was one key turning point in the final round, it came at the eighth. Rose missed a 7-foot birdie effort that would have gotten him within two. Spieth had chipped within two feet and he kicked that in for birdie. Instead of leading by two, Spieth was once again four clear.
Rose bogeyed the ninth and Spieth birdied the 10th from 20 feet out and was suddenly six ahead. Spieth 3-putted for bogey at 12, and that trimmed his lead to four over Mickelson.
Spieth birdied the two par-5s, 13 and 15, to climb to 19-under par. He was the first player in Masters history to reach that total.
Rose tried to keep pace as he birdied three in a row from the 13th.
Spieth made a clutch par save from over the 16th, then 2-putted for par at 17. With one hole to go to set the Masters scoring record, Spieth pushed his drive right.
He came up short at 18. Spieth chipped to five feet, but failed to convert the record-setting putt. He tapped in for bogey to share the scoring record with Woods.
“I saw my family and friends right behind the green there. At that point, I knew it was going to be a done deal,” Spieth said of his walk up 18. “To be honest, it didn’t kick in there, and it still hasn’t kicked in. I’m still kind of in shock a little. I’m sure it will settle in maybe a little later, but it was cool to share that experience with my family.”
Rose also failed to get up and down for par at 18.
“Obviously, a great start for Jordan and myself. Birdie-birdie getting out of the gates, that settled me down,” Rose admitted. “I hadn’t gotten off to particularly good starts on Friday and Saturday so that was good. I felt like I was in the tournament from the word go. The key moments for me was not getting it up and down from the right side of No. 8 and 3-putting No. 9. That’s where the momentum shifted for me.”
Mickelson had two birdies and two bogeys on the front nine. He birdied the 10th and 13th to move to 13-under, but stumbled to a bogey at 14. Mickelson found sand with his second at the par-5 15th.
The five-time major champion flashed his patented short game by holing the bunker shot for eagle, which got him within four of Spieth. Mickelson parred out to end there.
“I just played a good solid round of golf, but I needed something exceptional today,” Mickelson said. “I had three bogeys I needed to eliminate. I needed to shoot something in the mid- to low-60s to have a chance, and I just didn’t quite get it.”
NOTES: Spieth became the first 20-something to win the Masters since Charl Schwartzel in 2011 … Spieth became the first player to start his Masters career with eight straight rounds of par or better … With Spieth winning, the Masters champion has come out of the final pairing in 21 of the last 25 years … Spieth’s 28 birdies for the week broke Mickelson’s record of 25, which was set in 2001 … Mickelson’s runner-up finish was his 10th in a major … There were 47 eagles this week, shattering the old record of 37, which had been set in 1991 … Spieth earned $1.8 million with his victory … The PGA Tour heads to South Carolina next week for the RBC Heritage, where Matt Kuchar will defend his title, while the European Tour heads to China for a new event, the Shenzhen International.