If it's possible to shoot an unsatisfactory 64 on a Sunday at The Masters, then perhaps Jordan Spieth is the only golfer capable of pulling off such outrageousness.
On Sunday, Spieth -- the 2015 Masters champion -- had one of the best final rounds in the 82-year history of golf's most prestigious event. His 8-under 64 not only matched a personal best at Augusta National, it was only the seventh time in history someone shot a final-round 64 at The Masters.
The last person to do it was Bo Van Pelt in 2012; he finished tied for 17th. Spieth, on the other hand, had people believing he might actually roar from nine strokes back to grab his second green jacket. Spieth's round was so good, he went from nine back of the leader, Patrick Reed, at the start of the day to leveling with him by the time Spieth sank this "are you kidding me?" putt on No. 16.
"The first few holes were stress-free," Spieth said on CBS after his round. "I know where these Sunday pins are, and fortunately played the golf course exactly how it needed to be played."
So how could a 64 be disappointing? When you taste victory but leave it on the plate. Spieth, of course, did not win this year's Masters. Rickie Fowler (who shot a 5-under 67 on Sunday) by one.Spieth by two strokes and
Turns out Spieth would have needed a birdie on 18 to send this year's tournament to a playoff. He never had a chance at that after he sent his tee shot on No. 18 into the trees on the left side of the hole; his ball lost its momentum and fell short of the fairway.
Spieth scrambled to get to the green in three, and in fact had an eight-foot putt that would have given him a Sunday-record 63 had he made it. That would have tied a Masters overall record and would have been the first final-round 63 in the event's history. Instead, Spieth just missed, then tapped in for his bogey on No. 18.
Speith revealed afterward that he was tunnel-visioned when it came to the leaderboard. He said he was unaware of who was where atop the board the entire afternoon.
"I didn't look at one board," Spieth said. "The only time I knew where I stood was after I finished on 18. I knew the putt was important. Every shot was very important coming down the stretch, because I knew I needed to get deeper and deeper, because with that many guys ahead, somebody's going low, But I didn't know exactly what it was, so obviously pretty gutted at the finish. I hit a tee shot that wasn't that, it just caught the last little branch of that tree. So obviously I want to go back to that tee shot right now, but it was a phenomenal day."
Here's Spieth career finishes at Augusta. A reminder: he's only 24.
Spieth had quite the interesting tournament. He got off to a good start, leading the field at 6-under after the first round. He had a 2-over 74 on Friday, which dropped him to four back of Reed after 36 holes. On Saturday, Spieth shot a 71 and lingered amongst some heavy-hitters, but he was fairly off the radar heading into Sunday's big showdown between Reed and Rory McIlroy.
Then he reminded everyone why he still needs to be considered the greatest golfer going. To shoot a 64 on that course with that competition is incredible. Spieth has a way of making every year he plays at Augusta memorable for one reason or another.
"I think I've proven to myself and others that you never give up," Spieth said. "I started nine shots back and I came out with the idea of playing the golf course and having a lot of fun doing it."
Spieth and Greg Norman are now the only golfers to shoot a 64 twice in their career at The Masters. Even when Spieth doesn't win a green jacket he's still capable of putting himself into the record books. That perhaps speaks to his talent as much as any championship ever could.