Jordan Spieth continued his dramatic rise to golfing prominence by finishing tied fourth at the Players Championship this week.
The 20-year-old finished second at last month’s Masters event and continued to establish himself as a member of the golfing elite here, firing himself towards the top of the leaderboard.
Indeed, he went into the final day sharing the lead with eventual winner Martin Kaymer, but could not quite maintain his form over the first 54 holes on Sunday.
Spieth went round the first 54 holes without dropping a shot, putting himself in contention to be the first man since 1974 to win a tournament without making a bogey, but he couldn’t continue his flawless golf over the last 18 holes.
It was, however, another superb display from the hugely talented young golfer – who many are saying is the brightest prospect since Tiger Woods burst onto the scene.
After the tournament, Spieth wasn’t thinking like this, though. It was the second occasion in a short period of time that he had gone into the final day with a share of the lead – after the same scenario was seen at the Masters – but not come out of it with a win and it hurt the youngster.
“I’m stinging right now,’’ he said. “It’s not fun being that close and having opportunities and being in the lead on Sunday and not pulling it off. It’s something that I don’t feel like I’ve struggled with throughout my whole career, going back to junior days.
“So I don’t think much of it, other than I didn’t have any best stuff. I’m disappointed right now in how I performed, but I think I’m on the path to good things.
“It’s been a great year of putting myself in a lot of positions and having new experiences instead of having to come from behind trying to hold leads. I think that is something that it takes a little time to adapt to and hopefully I’m done trying now.’’
Spieth went into the final day level with Martin Kaymer at 12 under par, but his round of a two-over 74 ended up costing him.
Despite an encouraging start, which saw him make two birdies in the first four holes, Spieth’s first bogey of the week came at the fifth and he struggled to recover from that.
Further dropped shots came at the eighth, 10th, 14th and 15th and although a birdie on 16 brought him back into some sort of contention two pars on the final pair of holes meant that he could not close the gap to first position back up.
As it was the American finished the tournament on ten over, tied with Justin Rose, and three shots behind his playing partner Kaymer.
The German shot a round of 71 to secure the championship – a tournament which he led since day one when equalled the course record by shooting a score of nine-under-par.
It means that Kaymer now has a major, a Players Championship, a World Golf Championship and made ‘that’ putt in Medinah, during Europe’s Ryder Cup success.
Not bad for a man that hasn’t turned 30 yet.
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