Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Masters, Day 4

For the last few years, CBS's coverage of the last day of the Masters has kicked off with an hour-long special called "Jim Nantz Remembers Augusta."  A few years ago, they did a long feature on the 1975 Masters, which was possibly the greatest golf tournament ever played.  This year, they're doing Raymond Floyd, who was a runaway winner in 1976.  As it so happened, I had waited a whole year hoping to see a repeat of the drama from 1975, and instead I was stuck watching Raymond Floyd roll to a very easy (and very boring) victory.  I never really forgave Floyd for depriving me of an exciting Masters, and I rooted against him for years afterward, which seems unfair in retrospect -- but the heart wants what it wants.

So I have no interest in re-living the 1976 Masters, and instead I will be watching a college baseball game between Navy and Lafayette until the real coverage starts at 1 P.M. Central time.

Further thoughts will go in the comments.

132 comments:

  1. I have watched college baseball games at Navy's field in Annapolis. It's a great experience, and I recommend it to anyone who likes college sports. Right now, the Mids are batting in a scoreless game in the bottom of the 1st. They look great -- clean white uniforms with navy blue numerals and "NAVY" in block letters across the chest. Meanwhile, Lafayette is turned out in an ensemble that features a black cap, a black jersey with maroon trim, gray pants, and maroon socks. It's not a good look, and that's a shame -- I normally like Lafayette's uniforms.

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  2. Lafayette leads 2-0 going into the top of the 4th. Of course, if the team with the best uniforms always won, UK would go undefeated in basketball every year.

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  3. The Mids are rallying in the bottom of the 5th. A two out triple, followed by a two-out single, has tied the game at 2-2.

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  4. Lafayette gets out of the 5th without further drama, and it's still 2-all heading into the 6th.

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  5. OK, Tiger and Rory are teeing off, so we are switching from the Navy/Lafayette game.

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  6. For the record, Tiger whacked his drive all the way through the crowd and into the 9th fairway. From there, he lofts a shot over the trees and just barely lands the ball onto the fringe of the first green.

    Rory is wearing highlighter yellow, but he takes a more traditional path: drive into the rough, and then an approach shot safely on the green.

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  7. Meanwhile, Lafayette and Navy are still tied at 2 heading into the 7th. They are playing a double-header today, so I'm pretty sure that this is the last inning (unless we remain tied).

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  8. Tiger and Rory both make par on 1, and they are on to the second hole.

    Mickelson and Hoffman have teed off, so everyone except for Spieth and Rose is now on the course.

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  9. Free baseball in Annapolis, where Lafayette and Navy are tied at 2 after seven.

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  10. Leaderboard:

    1. J. Spieth: -16 (54 holes)
    2. J. Rose (ENG): -12 (54)
    3. P. Mickelson: -11 (55)
    4. C. Hoffman: -9 (55)
    5. K. Streelman: -7 (56)

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  11. Rose birdies the first hole to move to 13 under par.

    Spieth then MATCHES Rose's birdie, rolling in a 10-footer to move to 17 under.

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  12. Did you all know that Jim Nantz knows the Bushes?

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    Replies
    1. If Jeb Bush becomes President, they should give Nantz that position that Lonesome Rhodes was going for at the end of "A Face in the Crowd," -- it was called "Secretary for Public Opinion," or something like that.

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  13. Leaderboard:

    1. J. Spieth: -17 (55 holes)
    2. J. Rose (ENG): -13 (55)
    3. P. Mickelson: -11 (55)

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  14. In the top of the 9th, Lafayette's first two runners reached base. The first runner was thrown out trying to steal second, and the second runner was picked off by the catcher at first. Going into the bottom of the 9th, we're still tied at 2.

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  15. Mickelson birdies the second hole, and he is now 12 under.

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  16. Leaderboard:

    1. J. Spieth: -17 (55 holes)
    2. J. Rose (ENG): -13 (55)
    3. P. Mickelson: -12 (56)

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  17. Navy goes down in order in the 9th, and we're on to the 10th -- still tied at 2-all.

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  18. Rose birdies the second hole, and is now 14 under par. He is the Sam Dekker of golf.

    This time Spieth cannot match Rose's birdie. He misses a downhill five-footer. He stays at 17 under par.

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  19. Tiger bogeys the fourth hole. He falls back to 5 under par, and he will not win the 2015 Masters.

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  20. In the top of the 10th, Lafayette has the lead run on second with two outs.

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  21. Leaderboard:

    1. J. Spieth: -17 (56 holes)
    2. J. Rose: -14 (56)
    3. P. Mickelson: -12 (57)

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  22. Navy gets a huge strikeout to kill off the Leopards' threat! Still tied at 2 going into the bottom of the 10th.

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  23. Now Spieth BIRDIES the 3d hole to move to 18 under.

    And Rose cannot match him, so he stays at 14 under.

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  24. Meanwhile, Navy and Lafayette are headed for the 11th, still tied at 2.

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  25. Leaderboard:

    1. J. Spieth: -18 (57 holes)
    2. J. Rose: -14 (57)
    3. P. Mickelson: -12 (58)

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  26. This Lafayette/Navy game is remarkably similar to a whole bunch of Phillies/Nats games I've seen. We're still tied at 2 going into the 12th.

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    Replies
    1. In fact, yesterday the Nats and Phillies were also tied 2-2 at the end of regulation.

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  27. Spieth and Rose each par the difficult par-3 fourth hole.

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  28. Mickelson bogeys the fifth hole. He's now 11 under, which is normally a great score on Sunday at Augusta. But he's seven shots behind Spieth.

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  29. Leaderboard:

    1. J. Spieth: -18 (58 holes)
    2. J. Rose (ENG): -14 (58)
    3. P. Mickelson: -11 (59)

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  30. From the middle of the fifth fairway, Spieth makes a hash of everything and ends up having to sink a tricky four-footer just to save bogey. He falls back to 17 under.

    Rose rolls in his par putt, and moves to within three shots of the lead.

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  31. Meanwhile, in the bottom of the 12th, Navy has runners on 1st and 3d with one out. Lafayette brings in a side arm relief pitcher.

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  32. Leaderboard:

    1. J. Spieth: -17 (59 holes)
    2. J. Rose (ENG): -14 (59)
    3. P. Mickelson: -11 (60)

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  33. The sidearm pitcher gets a 1-2 count, but the Navy batsman lofts a long fly to right field. THE WINNING RUN SCORES ON THE SACRIFICE! Navy beats Lafayette 3-2 in 12 innings, and the Mids storm the field in celebration.

    Now back to the Masters.

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  34. Rose leaves his tee shot on the par-3 sixth well short of the green, and he cannot get up and down for par. He bogeys to fall back to 13 under.

    Spieth pars to remain at 17 under.

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  35. Leaderboard:

    1. J. Spieth: -17 (60 holes)
    2. J. Rose (ENG): -13 (60)
    3. P. Mickelson: -11 (61)

    Mickelson just hit an amazing shot to save par on 7. He lofted the ball to the back of the green, and then it rolled backward about 30 feet to within 18 inches of the hole.

    Meanwhile, Spieth and Rose have both whacked drives well off to the left on 7.

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  36. Spieth curls his second shot on 7 through the trees, and the ball lands on the fringe at the front of the green.

    Rose is closer to the green, but he's very close to a tree. His club hits the tree on his second shot, and the ball goes scooting off to the right. He will have a tricky pitch to get his third shot onto the green.

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  37. Rose's pitch from the gallery area near the 7th green is so good that it almost goes into the hole. He lofts the ball to the back of the green, and it rolls back to within a few feet of the hole. It almost went in.

    This puts the pressure back on Spieth, and he curls a tricky shot to within six feet.

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  38. Now here's Spieth with a big putt for par on 7 -- and he misses it.

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  39. Rose holes his par putt to remain at 13 under par, the ball rolling all the way around the cup before it goes down.

    Spieth takes a bogey and falls back to 16 under.

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  40. Meanwhile, Mickelson has about four feet for a birdie on the par-5 eighth. He spends a lot of time on it, and . . . makes it! Mickelson moves to 12 under par, now only four shots off the lead.

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  41. Leaderboard:

    1. J. Spieth: -16 (61 holes)
    2. J. Rose (ENG): -13 (61)
    3. P. Mickelson: -12 (62)

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  42. This time, a hug. This time, a hug.

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  43. Nantz is starting to believe Spieth is going to hold on, because now he's talking about Spieth's humility.

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  44. Spieth bounces back with a birdie on 8, and Rose is unable to match him. Meanwhile, Mickelson takes a three-putt bogey on 9. He makes the turn in 36, and he's now six shots off the pace.

    1. J. Spieth: -17 (62 holes)
    2. J. Rose (ENG): -13 (62)
    3. P. Mickelson: -11 (63)

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  45. Spieth makes a straightforward par on 9. He's out in 35.

    Rose takes a three-putt bogey, and he's out in 36. He's now five shots behind Spieth.

    Nantz tells us that Spieth is nine holes away from history.

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  46. Replies
    1. It'd be great to be the kind of guy who keeps a log of stuff like when he needs to change the collar clamps on his sump-pump pipes just to avoid one wearing out and causing the whole thing to go on the fritz. And it'd be even greater to be the kind of guy who actually follows through and does the things his log tells him to do when it tells him to do them.

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  47. Mickelson birdies the 10th hole, and moves into a tie for second with Rose at 12 under par.

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  48. Replies
    1. I'm a big fan of both Agassi and Mickelson, so I've thought about this comparison for awhile.

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  49. Leaderboard:

    1. J. Spieth: -17 (63 holes)
    T2. P. Mickelson: -12 (64)
    T2. J. Rose (ENG): -12 (63)

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  50. Speaking for myself, I'm pretty excited about self-driving cars.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, that's going to be great. Beyond great, even.

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  51. I love the Augusta National Golf Club, but I'm not going with this whole "First Nine" and "Second Nine" locution.

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  52. Meanwhile, JORDAN SPIETH HAS HOLED A 20-FOOT PUTT FOR BIRDIE ON 10. That gives him the record for the most birdies in one tournament at the Masters. He's now 18 under par -- six shots clear of the field.

    Rose takes a par, and stays at 12 under.

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  53. Leaderboard:

    1. J. Spieth: -18 (64 holes)
    T2. P. Mickelson: -12 (65)
    T2. J. Rose (ENG): -12 (64)

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  54. Spieth then clatters his drive on 11 well off into the woods on the right.

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  55. Rose is safely on the 11th green in two, while Spieth is off in the pine straw down the right side of the fairway. Nick Faldo thinks he just needs to avoid the water near the green.

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  56. After a whole lot of crowd control to get the "patrons" out of Spieth's way, Spieth slaps a shot that rolls safely down into the valley near the green -- just about at the spot where Larry Mize holed his shot to win in 1987.

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    Replies
    1. "Go Heath Remembers Augusta" ... I would so tune in for that show.

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  57. On 13, Tiger Woods hits his first fairway of the day, and ends up making an eagle. He is now 6 under par for the tournament.

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    Replies
    1. It was fantastic to have Tiger back, and I hope he and Lindsey Vonn are very happy.

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  58. Spieth hits a lovely pitch shot on 11, and taps in for a par. Rose also takes a par.

    Mickelson pars the 12th, and is still six shots back.

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  59. McIlroy birdies 13, and he's now 10 under par. Remember that he was 3 over par through the first 27 holes. Spieth is fortunate that Rory didn't get off to a better start.

    But Spieth is doing well for himself -- he is safely on the 12th green. As is Rose.

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  60. Nantz tells us: "Jordan Spieth does not look back. He does not let up."

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  61. But Spieth three-putt the twelfth green to fall back to 17 under par.

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  62. And Mickelson rolls in a short birdie putt on 13, and he's now 13 under par -- four shots off the lead.

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  63. Leaderboard:

    1. J. Spieth: -17 (66 holes)
    2. P. Mickelson: -13 (67)
    3. J. Rose (ENG): -12 (66)

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  64. Mickelson hits a very nice drive down the middle of the 14th fairway.

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  65. On the 13th fairway, it appears to CBS that Spieth is laying up short of the green. But instead, he whacks the ball just over the creek -- "GO HARD! GO HARD!" -- you could hear him saying. And the ball rolls within 12 feet of the hole. He will have that putt for an eagle. Just magnificent golf. We just saw McIlroy, Woods, and Mickelson play this same hole, and they all played it well. But none of them tried that shot.

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    Replies
    1. Live-mike golf is great and awful, both for the same reasons. I'll be so excited when IoT and data-mining innovation brings us to a point where we go back and get live-mike golf for all of the majors in the history--even the ones when microphones weren't deployed around the course!

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  66. Spieth doesn't make his eagle, but he has a tap-in birdie, and he's back to 18 under par.

    Rose also birdies the 13th hole.

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  67. Meanwhile, Mickelson bogeys the 14th hole, and he falls back to 12 under.

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  68. Leaderboard:

    1. J. Spieth: -18 (67 holes)
    2. J. Rose (ENG): -13 (67)
    3. P. Mickelson: -12 (68)

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  69. McIlroy makes another birdie at 15, and he's now five-under for the day and 11 under for the tournament.

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  70. Nantz tells us that we are following Spieth step by step, as he is "walking into history."

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  71. Nick Faldo says that Spieth is "not intimidating, but he is demoralizing."

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  72. Rose is not demoralized, as he rolls in a birdie to move to 14 under par, four shots off the lead.

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  73. Spieth rolls in a four-footer for par, and he is four up with four holes to go.

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  74. Meanwhile, Mickelson has HOLED OUT A BUNKER SHOT ON 15! That's an EAGLE, and Mickelson is tied with Rose at 14 under par.

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  75. Leaderboard:

    1. J. Spieth: -18 (68 holes)
    T2. P. Mickelson: -14 (69)
    T2. J. Rose (ENG): -14 (68)

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  76. None of this drama appears to bother Spieth, who hammers his drive down the middle of the 15th fairway.

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  77. On 16, Mickelson fires his shot right at the flag -- but it comes up just a bit short, and lands in the greenside bunker.

    On 18, Hideki Matsuyama wraps up a very nice 66 that leaves him at 11 under par. Nantz tells us that he's "special."

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    Replies
    1. I will say this: Matsuyama is only 23. He has his fifth place here, and he had a T6 and a T10 among the 2013 majors. That's pretty similar to Justin Rose's portfolio at the same age.

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  78. On 15, Spieth's second shot is aimed right at the flag -- but it's hit just a tad too hard to hold the green, and it rolls slightly down the back slope.

    Rose's second shot stops at the front edge of the green -- but does not roll back down into the water.

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  79. Now here's Mickelson, trying to hole his bunker shot on 16. He takes out the flag, and gives it a great run, but it just misses. He will stay at 14 under.

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    Replies
    1. If I was a PGA golfer on Sunday at a major, I'd always be taking out the flag--but then stubbing my wedge and punching the ball about two inches.

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  80. Now CBS is running through a highlight reel of some of Mickelson's amazing shots this weekend. What a great golfer he has turned out to be.

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    Replies
    1. Maybe he's still getting better, even.

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  81. No player has ever been 19 shots under par at the Masters, but Spieth can become the first if he gets up and down from behind the 15th green. His chip shot is a little weak, and comes up about six feet short.

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  82. Spieth holes his birdie putt on 15 and moves to 19 under par. Now we get a graphic showing the Masters golfers to reach 16, 17, 18, and now 19 under par.

    Rose makes a birdie and he's now 15 under. I'm not sure that anyone has ever shot 15 under at the Masters and lost.

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  83. Leaderboard:

    1. J. Spieth: -19 (69 holes)
    2. J. Rose (ENG): -15 (69)
    3. P. Mickelson: -14 (70)

    Rose has made three birdies in a row.

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  84. Spieth tells his tee shot on 16 to "BITE!" and "SIT DOWN!" But the ball goes bounding through the green, and he'll have to get up and down to save par. One can understand why he's so excited.

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  85. And Spieth does get up and down to save par -- he makes a putt of about 8-10 feet to remain at 19 under par. Rose also takes par.

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  86. Up on 18, Rory McIlroy reminds everyone that he is, in fact, the number-one player in the world. He holes a long birdie putt to finish at 12 under par. He played the last 45 holes of this tournament in 15 under.

    Tiger takes a bogey on the last hole to finish in a tie for 17th at 5 under par. This is his highest finish in a tournament since 2013, and he gets a big cheer.

    Rory won today's match-up with Tiger, 66 to 73. Jordan Spieth hasn't had to worry much about McIlroy this week, but he will be hearing from Rory before the year is out.

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  87. Leaderboard:

    1. J. Spieth: -19 (70 holes)
    2. J. Rose (ENG): -15 (70)
    3. P. Mickelson: -14 (71)
    4. R. McIlroy (NIR): -12 (72)

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  88. Tiger does an interview with CBS. He appears gracious, but exhausted. He tells us that he's pleased to have made so much improvement in the last few months, and that he will keep working. But he says it will be awhile before he plays in another tournament.

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  89. Spieth comes THIS close to making another birdie on 17. But he taps in for par.

    Rose takes a par, and he stays at 15 under.

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  90. Nantz tells us that there will be an encore presentation of this broadcast at 7 PM Central on the CBS Sports Network.

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  91. Mickelson, who has really put on a tremendous show over the weekend, finishes in style, holing a long putt on 18 to save par. He shoots a 69, and finishes at 14 under par.

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  92. Spieth's last drive of the tournament ends up in the pine straw down the right side of the fairway. It feels like he's been all over the place today, and yet he's on pace for a very solid 69.

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  93. Nantz tells us that McIlroy and Spieth will be 1 and 2 in the world after today, thus setting up the Future of the Game.

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    Replies
    1. That's the kind of thing my dad probably said about Hal Sutton.

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  94. No one has ever broken 270 at the Masters, and Spieth has now taken 266 shots. Shot number 267 comes soaring from out under a pine tree and stops at the edge of the green.

    Now CBS is showing the Spieth family standing up near the 18th green. His dad looks ecstatic (as you would expect), and his mom looks nervous.

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    Replies
    1. Smart Mom points out that Spieth's mom is not nervous -- she's about to start crying from joy.

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    2. Thanks for the insight, Smart Mom.

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  95. Nantz says that CBS may not have made enough of the point about how hard it is to go wire-to-wire at the Masters -- no one has done it since 1976.

    Rose bogeys the last hole to finish 14 under.

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  96. And now Spieth has about eight feet for the record. He bleeds it off to the right. So he taps in for a bogey and he finished with a score of 270 -- 18 under par. JORDAN SPIETH IS THE 2015 MASTERS CHAMPION.

    "One of the epic performances in the annals of the sport," says Nantz. And he is absolutely right.

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  97. Spieth hugs his dad first, and then hugs his mom. Just as he should have done. Then a lot of high fives and hugs up to the clubhouse.

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  98. Hurrah! I'm thrilled for Jordan Spieth and all of us.

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  99. Great stuff as always, Go Heath.

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