Sunday, April 10, 2016

Masters Day Three Wrap-Up

Well, the big showdown between Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy did not live up to expectations.  In clear but extremely windy conditions, McIlroy's game was never right all day -- he struggled to a 5-over par 77.  Spieth, on the other hand, fought the game all day with the tenacity of an old sea captain trying to make harbor in the midst of a gale.  A double-bogey on 11 dropped him to 3-under par for the tournament, but he fought back with birdies on 12, 14, and 15 to build a four-shot lead with only three holes left.  However, he then finished with a bogey on 17 and a double-bogey on 18 to give back almost all of that lead.  Still, he leads the Masters for the seventh round in a row, after a day on which he made two double-bogeys on the back nine.  I don't think that has ever happened in golf history, and I doubt if it will happen again.

Spieth will be paired with Smiley Kaufman, who grew up in Birmingham, Ala., but who played golf for LSU.  I can't help but think that Bobby Jones would be pretty pleased to see two young Southerners in the last group at his old tournament.  But right behind them are some of the best golfers in the world, including the 58-year-old Bernard Langer -- who was the defending champ with Jack Nicklaus won for the last time.  Nicklaus was born in 1940.  Spieth was born in 1993.  What a funny old world.

Here is the leaderboard:

1.  J. Spieth:   -3 (66+74+73=213)

2.  S. Kaufman-2 (73+72+69=214)

T3.  B. Langer (GER):  -1 (72+73+70=215)
T3.  H. Matsuyama (JPN):  -1 (71+72+72=215)

T5.  J. Day (AUS):  Even (72+73+71=216)
T5.   D. JohnsonEven (73+71+72=216)
T5.  D. Willett (ENG):  Even (70+74+72=216)

T8.  S. Kjeldsen (DEN):  1 over (69+74+74=217)
T8.  B. Snedeker1 over (71+72+74=217)
T8.  L. Westwood (ENG):  1 over (71+75+71=217)

164 comments:

  1. Langer and Matsuyama both bogey the first hole. Spieth and Kaufman are now the only players on the course who are under par.

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  2. Spieth pars the first hole. Kaufman had a golden opportunity for birdie, but missed a six-footer, and also finished with a par.

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  3. Dustin Johnson tries to reach the short par-4 third hole, and actually drives the ball through the green. He will have a tough up-and-down for a birdie. He's currently at even par.

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  4. On the par-5 second hole, Spieth hits his drive straight down the middle. Kaufman goes into a fairway bunker.

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  5. Up on 16, Shane Lowry makes a hole-in-one. Sixteenth hole-in-one ever on that hole -- the first in four years. Lowry, who was in contention a few days ago, moves to 10 over par.

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  6. Matsuyama birdies the second, and moves to 1-under par.

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  7. On the second hole, Spieth spends a long time lining up an eagle putt that will have at least two different breaks on its long journey toward the hole. He finally looks like he's about to putt, and then steps back. Then rolls the ball to within a few feet. Very well done.

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  8. After a great wedge shot, Kaufman has about six feet for birdie. He makes it, and moves to 3-under par.

    Now Spieth has his short putt for birdie, and again takes his time. He makes it, and moves to 4-under par.

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  9. Soren Kjeldsen rolls in a long birdie putt on 5, and moves to 1-under par.

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  10. Spieth and Kaufman both elect not to challenge the green on the short par-4 third hole, and they tee off with irons. Spieth's shot lands in the fairway, but Kaufman lands in the pine straw.

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  11. Leaderboard:

    1. J. Spieth: -4 (56 holes)
    2. S. Kaufman: -3 (56)
    3. H. Matsuyama (JPN): -1 (56)

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  12. Langer takes a double bogey on 3, and falls back to 2 over par.

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  13. Just as Spieth is about to hit his fairway shot on 3, there is an enormous roar from somewhere on the course, and he is forced to reboot. Finally, he lofts a great shot to within about 15 feet of the flag.

    Kaufman cannot control his shot from the pine straw, and the ball runs through the green.

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  14. And now we see what caused that roar -- which really was one of the loudest cheers I've ever heard at Augusta National. It was our old friend Davis Love III, who made a HOLE-IN-ONE on the 16th hole. He moves to 11 over par.

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  15. From behind the third green, Kaufman pitches onto the edge of the green. Then his par putt runs well past the hole. Then he holes the six-footer for bogey, and he falls back to 2-under.

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  16. Danny Willett birdies the 6th hole to move to 1-under.

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    Replies
    1. Per Nick Faldo, Danny Willett lines up his putts in the same way I do--imagining a target about a foot in front of the cup. My dad would approve.

      Delete
  17. Spieth's birdie putt on three was somewhat weak, but he drops the three-footer for par, and he has a two-shot lead at 4-under.

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  18. I think it's crazy how much "Smylie Kaufman" sort of sounds like "Fuzzy Zoeller," and Kaufman is in contention to be the first rookie winner of the Masters since Zoeller.

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  19. Day bogeys the 5th hole to fall to 1 over. Dustin Johnson double bogeys the 5th hole to fall to 2 over.

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  20. Spieth hits a terrible drive on the par-3 4th, and is left with a long pitch that runs about 10-12 feet past the hole.

    The 4th hole is brutal. Matsuyama just bogeyed it to fall back to even par.

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  21. Spieth DRAINS the 10-footer for par on 4, and remains at 4-under par. That was huge.

    McIlroy birdies 7 and 8 to move to 2-over.

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    Replies
    1. "That was clutch" was about that Spieth putt, which was, indeed, huge. Sorry--you're usually ahead of me on getting comments posted.

      Delete
  22. Kaufman, who reached the 4th green with his tee shot, three-putts for another bogey, and falls back to 1-under.

    Dustin Johnson, who just 4-putted the 5th green, 1-putts the 6th green for a birdie. He's now 1-over.

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  23. OK, I hate it when the announcers talk about things like pressure on Sunday at a major golf tournament or the importance of not committing turnovers in football games as though it's something some athlete or coach doesn't know to respect. I hate it.

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    Replies
    1. In a sense, Bill James's whole career has been devoted to stopping that sort of thing.

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  24. On the par-4 5th hole, Spieth's drive goes into a fairway bunker.

    This is another very difficult hole. It's 455 yards long, and the green is un-puttable, as Dustin Johnson just learned.

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  25. I like these commercials where the delivery guy mispronounces "Spieth."

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  26. Leaderboard:

    1. J. Spieth: -4 (58 holes)
    T2. S. Kjeldsen (DEN): -1 (61)
    T2. D. Willett (ENG): -1 (60)
    T2. S. Kaufman: -1 (58)
    5. H. Matsuyama (JPN): Even (58)

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  27. Adam Scott, who has played great all year until this week, finishes with a score of 11 over par. This week was the first time where it looked like he missed the long putter.

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  28. Matsuyama bogeys the 5th, and falls to 1 over.

    Lee Westwood birdies 6 and 7, and he's now at even par.

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  29. Kiradesh Aphibarnrat--first appearance at the HP.

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  30. Spieth is not in the bunker on 5, he's behind it. He tries to hit a big hook, but the ball doesn't curve enough, and it ends up near the grandstand next to the green.

    By contrast, Kaufman lofts a lovely shot that stops about 10 feet from the hole.

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  31. When Jason Day just threw his club in the air, it brought back the bad memory of Isaac Humphries's technical.

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    Replies
    1. In a year of bad calls, that was one of the worst.

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  32. For me, one of the biggest mysteries in all of sports is why no male golfers from Japan have won a major golf tournament. I thought Matsuyama had a good chance to end that streak, but he's fallen back to 1 over par, and he just missed the green with his tee shot on the par-3 sixth hole.

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  33. Now we have Spieth versus the treacherous 5th green. He has to make a long chip shot from just in front of the grandstand, and the ball stops about 15-20 feet past the hole. He'll have that for par.

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  34. Snedeker birdies the 8th hole, and moves to 1 over.

    McIlroy pars the 9th, and stays at 2 over.

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  35. Spieth cannot save par, as his putt rolls about 2 feet past the hole.

    Now Kaufman can make up two shots with a birdie, but he misses and takes a par to remain at 1-under. Jim Nantz tells us that he hasn't "gotten a lot out of these superb shots that he's made."

    Spieth makes bogey and falls to 3-under.

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    Replies
    1. Watching part of that 1986 Masters rebroadcast at Masters.com earlier made me appreciate Jim Nantz a little more.

      Delete
  36. One of the reasons that Verne Lundquist is such a beloved figure is because his regard for humanity seems genuine and indiscriminate. In some announcers, you might hear them express empathy with some competitor who encounters some misfortune--but you can still kind of hear their happiness because they're actually rooting for another of the competitors. But when Verne Lundquist says, "Oh, what a price to pay!" on the way to a Hideki Matsuyama double bogey, you actually believe him.

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  37. On the 188-yd 6th hole, Kaufman's tee shot comes up short and rolls off the front of the green.

    Danny Willett birdies the 8th hole, and moves to 2-under, only one shot off the lead.

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  38. As Kaufmann's drive on No. 6 trickles back off the front of the green: "And he ... doesn't ... clear ... the ridge--oh, boy."

    Verne is simply fantastic.

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  39. Spieth hits a good tee shot on 6, and he will have about 20 feet for birdie. Verne Lundquist, a proud Texan, gives us details of Spieth's Texas connections.

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  40. In all seriousness, I literally do not know what product IBM is advertising with these Watson commercials.

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    Replies
    1. I assume that Watson is not actually a talking computer with odd squiggles on its screen. But I have no idea what it is.

      Delete
  41. Leaderboard:

    1. J. Spieth: -3 (59 holes)
    2. D. Willett (ENG): -2 (62)
    T3. S. Kjeldsen (DEN): -1 (62)
    T3. S. Kaufman: -1 (59)
    4. L. Westwood (ENG): Even (62)
    T5. P. Casey (ENG): 1 over (67)
    T5. B. Snedeker: 1 over (62)
    T5. J. Day (AUS): 1 over (61)
    T5. D. Johnson: 1 over (61)

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    Replies
    1. Sorry about this. Westwood is in 5th, and the guys right behind him are tied for 6th.

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  42. Kaufman saves par on 6 -- but Spieth curls in the birdie putt to move back to 4-under par. What a fightback after that bogey on 5.

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  43. Matthew Fitzpatrick birdies 14, 15, and 16 to move to 1-over par.

    On 7, a par 4, Spieth finally hits a drive that he likes -- right down the middle.

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  44. Johnson had a great shot at an eagle on 8, but his putt dies an inch from the hole. His birdie moves him to even par.

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  45. Leaderboard:

    1. J. Spieth: -4 (60 holes)
    2. D. Willett (ENG): -2 (62)
    T3. S. Kjeldsen (DEN): -1 (63)
    T3. S. Kaufman: -1 (60)
    5. L. Westwood (ENG): Even (62)
    T6. M. Fitzpatrick (ENG): 1 over (70)
    T6. P. Casey (ENG): 1 over (67)
    T6. B. Snedeker: 1 over (63)
    T6. J. Day (AUS): 1 over (61)
    T6. D. Johnson: 1 over (61)

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  46. Day and Johnson both birdie the 8th, and they move to even par.

    Meanwhile, Willett has missed the 9th green with his second shot, and he will have to get up and down to save par.

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  47. From the 7th fairway, Kaufman's second shot goes to the back of the green and sticks. He looks discomfited.

    Then Spieth shoots, and starts saying "Don't be long, don't be long." It's not -- it lands on the back half of the green, and rolls to within about 8 feet of the hole.

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  48. Whatever happened to Jesper Parnevik?

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  49. On 9, Danny Willett saves par to stay at 2-under. And Lee Westwood makes a birdie to move to 1-under. They are both out in 34.

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    Replies
    1. Danny Willett makes me think of Jesper Parnevik.

      Delete
  50. Bryson DeChambeau finishes with a 72 that leaves him at 5-over par. He will get the silver medal for Low Amateur.

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  51. Spieth's birdie putt on 7 is really only about three feet. He holes it, and moves to 5-under par. That is glorious golf.

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  52. Kaufman three-putts the 7th green, and takes a bogey to fall back to even par.

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  53. On the par-5 8th, Spieth whangs his 3-wood straight down the middle, and gives the club a twirl.

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  54. Leaderboard:

    1. J. Spieth: -5 (61 holes)
    2. D. Willett (ENG): -2 (63)
    T3. S. Kjeldsen (DEN): -1 (64)
    T3. L. Westwood (ENG): -1 (63)

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  55. Dustin Johnson, who's feeling it now, birdies the 9th hole and moves to 1-under par for the tournament.

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  56. Day pars the 9th hole, and remains at even par.

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  57. On 8, Spieth whacks his second shot up to the edge of the green. If he can get up and down from there, he will have his third birdie in a row.

    On 10, Westwood's approach misses the green and appears to be some 40 feet from the hole.

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  58. So Jesper Parnevik is basically the Bruce Jenner of Sweden. That's really interesting.

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  59. Matthew Fitzpatrick birdies the 18th hole, and shoots a 67 -- a remarkable round under these circumstances. He finishes at even par.

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  60. On 10, Westwood cannot save par, and he falls back to even for the tournament.

    Casey birdies the 15th hole to move to even par for the tournament.

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  61. Willett's birdie putt on 10 comes up inches short of the hole, and he remains at 2-under.

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  62. Can I say, once again, that the Augusta National is one of the most beautiful places on earth?

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    Replies
    1. I am only now coming around to being a big fan of spring. As that has taken hold, Augusta National has looked better and better every year.

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  63. Spieth does get up and down on 8, and his third birdie in a row moves him to 6-under par.

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  64. Kaufman cannot birdie the 8th, and he remains at even.

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  65. For the first time today, Spieth pulls out his driver, and whacks the ball down the 9th fairway.

    Meanwhile, CBS is showing other famous hole-outs on 16. Tiger's shot from 2005 is my favorite golf shot of all time.

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    Replies
    1. It was so fantastic. Brought a huge smile to my face.

      Delete
  66. Day bogeys the 10th and falls back to 1 over.

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  67. Spieth has played 9, 10 and 11 in a combined 3-over this weekend, so we've entered a dark-side-of-the-moon part of the voyage here.

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  68. Leaderboard:

    1. J. Spieth: -6 (62 holes)
    2. D. Willett (ENG): -2 (64)
    3. D. Johnson: -1 (63)
    T4. M. Fitzpatrick (ENG): Even (72)
    T4. P. Casey (ENG): Even (70)
    T4. S. Kjeldsen (DEN): Even (65)
    T4. L. Westwood (ENG): Even (64)
    T4. J. Day (AUS): Even (63)
    T4. S. Kaufman: Even (62)

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  69. Kjeldsen birdies the dangerous 12th hole and moves to 1-under par.

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  70. Spieth is now a full hole behind all the other players, and he is still taking his time. A long discussion with his caddie from the 9th fairway. Then he changes clubs. Now he's ready. He lofts his shot right into a lovely spot, about 20 feet from the hole.

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  71. Well, that was very interesting, listening to Spieth and his caddy.

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  72. OH, MY, JORDAN SPIETH BIRDIES THE NINTH HOLE -- THAT IS FOUR BIRDIES IN A ROW. He shoots a 32 on the front nine, and he leads by five shots.

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  73. Wow! J.B. Holmes, who's going very well, lofts a lovely tee shot to within about 5 feet of the 16th hole. And then Louis Oosthuizen hits a shot that lands on the green, rolls down the hill, knocks Holmes's ball out of the way, AND GOES INTO THE CUP! That's a THIRD hole-in-one on 16 this afternoon. I don't remember ever seeing one there before.

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    Replies
    1. Verne said he'd never seen anything like it.

      Delete
  74. Leaderboard:

    1. J. Spieth: -7 (63)
    2. D. Willett (ENG): -2 (65)
    T3. S. Kjeldsen (DEN): -1 (66)
    T3. D. Johnson: -1 (64)

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  75. On the front nine, Spieth beat Kaufman 32 to 39. It was like watching the Road Runner and the Coyote.

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  76. Spieth shambles down the 10th hole, with a weak drive, and a mediocre second shot that ends up in a side bunker. His bunker shot comes up well short, and he is probably looking at a bogey.

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  77. Paul Casey finishes with a birdie, and he is in the clubhouse at 1-under.

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  78. Holmes birdied the 16th hole, and he is now at even par for the tournament.

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  79. Willett birdies 13, and moves to 3-under for the tournament.

    He is now only three shots behind Spieth, who bogeys the 10th to fall back to 6-under.

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  80. Spieth is back to battling his swing. He hits a 3-wood on 11 that goes sliding off into the pine straw, and he looks distraught. It will take real skill to make par from there.

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  81. Leaderboard:

    1. J. Spieth: -6 (64 holes)
    2. D. Willett (ENG): -3 (67)
    T3. P. Casey (ENG): -1 (72)
    T3. J. Rose (ENG): -1 (70)
    T3. S. Kjeldsen (DEN): -1 (67)
    T3. L. Westwood (ENG): -1 (67)
    T3. D. Johnson: -1 (66)

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  82. Willett hits a glorious approach shot on 14, and he will have an easy birdie putt that could put him at 4-under par.

    Meanwhile, Spieth couldn't reach the green in two on 11, and he had to pitch out into the fairway. He will need to get up and down from about 100 yards to save par.

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  83. Now here's Dustin Johnson looking at an eagle putt on 13. His putting hasn't been great today, but his shot-making has been glorious. This is about 20 feet, downhill. He leaves it just short, but taps in for a birdie to move to 2-under par.

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  84. From the 11th fairway, 122 yards from the hole, Spieth hits his third shot, and twirls the club. He thinks it's good, and it is good, stopping about six feet from the hole.

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  85. But now Willett has his birdie putt on 14, which could move him to within two shots of the lead. He makes it, and moves to 4-under, with the golfer-friendly 15th hole coming up.

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  86. J.B. Holmes birdies the last to finish at 1-under par. That's a final-round 68. Good for him!

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  87. Now Spieth, trying to save par on 11: his par putt slides past, and he falls back to 5-under par. Just like that, his five-shot lead has become a one-shot lead.

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  88. Suddenly Danny Willett has a great chance to win the Masters. He blasts a drive down the 15th fairway, but he is behind a tree and will have to lay up short of the green.

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  89. There is always someone who goes into the water on 12 on Sunday. Today it was Jordan Spieth. His tee shot was never going to make it. The ball landed on the bank and bounced straight into the water. His lead will soon be gone.

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  90. Leaderboard:

    1. J. Spieth: -5 (65 holes)
    2. D. Willett (ENG): -4 (68)
    3. D. Johnson: -2 (67)
    T4. P. Casey (ENG): -1 (72)
    T4. J.B. Holmes: -1 (72)
    T4. S. Kjeldsen (DEN): -1 (68)
    T4. L. Westwood (ENG): -1 (68)

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  91. Willett lays up on 15, and then pitches his third shot to the back of the green. He'll have a tricky downhill putt for a birdie.

    Meanwhile, Spieth's third shot on 12 bounces into a bunker, and he is probably looking at a double bogey. His lead is gone, and he could soon be two shots behind.

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  92. I was wrong -- that was not Spieth's third shot on 12; it was his fifth. His third shot also went into the water, forcing him to take another penalty shot. He got up and down for a QUADRUPLE BOGEY SEVEN, and he falls THREE SHOTS BEHIND Danny Willett. What a disaster.

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  93. With Spieth now back at 1-under par, the tournament now belongs to two Englishment: Danny Willett and Lee Westwood. Willett cannot make birdie on 15, so he stays at 4-under par. But Westwood makes an EAGLE to move to 3-under par, only one shot behind.

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  94. Leaderboard:

    1. D. Willett (ENG): -4 (69 holes)
    2. L. Westwood (ENG): -3 (69)
    3. D. Johnson: -2 (68)
    T4. P. Casey (ENG): -1 (72)
    T4. J.B. Holmes: -1 (72)
    T4. B. Snedeker: -1 (70)
    T4. J. Spieth: -1 (66)

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  95. On 15, Johnson whangs a drive that leaves him about where Willett was, some 220 yards from the hole behind some trees. But Johnson simply blasts the ball through or over all obstacles, and it lands on the green. He will have a decent chance at eagle.

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  96. But Willett has a 10-foot birdie putt on 16 that would just about lock down the championship, and he NAILS IT!. He has birdied 13, 14, and 16. He is 5-under par, and he has a two-shot lead over Westwood with two holes to play.

    Meanwhile, Spieth's second shot on 13 bounds through the green, and he will have tricky up-and-down for birdie.

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  97. In America, Spieth's collapse will get most of the attention in the history books. And that is understandable. But Willett has played extremely well down the stretch, and he deserves to be in the lead.

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  98. Johnson, who hasn't been able to putt all day, misses the eagle putt, but taps in for a birdie. Westwood three-putted the 16th, so he is back to 2-under.

    And Spieth is at 2-under, after a birdie on 13.

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  99. Leaderboard:

    1. D. Willett (ENG): -5 (70 holes)
    2. D. Johnson: -3 (69)
    T3. L. Westwood (ENG): -2 (70)
    T3. J. Spieth: -2 (67)

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  100. Johnson's tee shot on 16 lands about 15-20 feet from the hole. I would say he has a good chance at birdie, but I don't think he's made a putt of this length all weekend.

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  101. On 17, Willett's second shot runs through the green, and he has a long chip for birdie. He makes a perfect shot, and he will have a tap-in for par. He has really played marvelously today. If he pars the last, he will finish with a 67.

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  102. Spieth's drive on 14 goes off into the woods, but he's able to reach the green with his second shot. He's a long way from the hole, however.

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  103. As expected, Johnson misses his birdie putt on 16, and he will stay at 3-under.

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  104. Willett makes par on 17, and he has a two-shot lead with one hole left.

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  105. Johnson makes par on 16 to remain at 3-under. He will probably have to birdie 17 and 18 to have a chance.

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  106. Spieth's long putt on 14 had a chance, but it just drifts past the hole.

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  107. So Danny Willett, after a remarkable 17 holes of golf, comes to the 18th hole. He has played beautifully all day, and he rips a drive down the middle.

    Spieth makes a nervy putt for par -- his first par since the 4th hole. He needs to play the last four holes in 3-under.

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  108. Johnson pounds his drive on 17 long down the fairway.

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  109. Spieth hits a drive on 15 and, as the announcer puts it, "a one-handed follow through is not a good sign." It's not, and the ball drifts off to the edge of the fairways, blocked by trees from the green.

    As for Johnson, his second shot on 17 goes into the bunker, effectively ending his challenge at this Masters.

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  110. So all Willett has to do now is put the ball on the 18th green. If he does that, he will almost certainly be the winner. From 167 yards, he lofts a 7-iron that is just perfect. He will have 18 feet for birdie, and he will win the 2015 Masters.

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  111. Johnson hits a terrible bunker shot on 17, and he's now looking at a bogey.

    Meanwhile, Spieth wants to get some sort of relief on 15, and he's engaged in a long discussion with a rules official.

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  112. Spieth finally finishes talking to the official on 15, and he lays up short of the water in front of the green.

    Spieth actually would still have a great chance to win this tournament if he had merely made a double bogey on 12. But he made a quadruple bogey, and that has pretty much sunk him.

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  113. Willett probably doesn't need this birdie putt to win the tournament, but it would end his day in style. He lines it up, putts, and the ball comes up about a foot short. He will tap in for par, and a 67 that will leave him at 5-under.

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  114. Spieth is 91 yards away on 15, and hits his shot to within about 8 feet. He has to make that one.

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  115. Westwood pars the last, and finishes at 2-under.

    Willett taps in for par, and finishes at 5-under.

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  116. Jim Nantz points out that Willett's caddy has the same number -- 89 -- as Jack Nicklaus's son when he caddied for Jack in his 1986 victory.

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  117. Nantz tells us that Willett has a baby son who was born on March 30. But the original due date was April 10, and Nantz points out that this may turn out to be Willett's own "due date."

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  118. Johnson's putting woes continue, and he double bogey's the 17th hole. He falls back to 1-under.

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  119. Now Spieth with a must-make birdie putt on 15. He backs off, asks for a towel. Steps back up -- and makes it! Spieth moves to 3-under par, and he is two behind with three holes left.

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  120. If Spieth had made a 5 on 12, instead of a 7, he would now be tied for the lead.

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  121. Leaderboard:

    1. D. Willett (ENG): -5 (72 holes)
    2. J. Spieth: -3 (69)

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  122. And now Spieth steps up on 16, and lofts a beautiful shot to within about eight feet of the hole. "OH, YES!" shouts Verne Lundquist.

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  123. WHAT IS IBM WATSON? WHAT DOES IT DO?

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  124. Spieth lines up his tricky downhill putt on 16. Johnson and Day are walking up to the 18th green, and Spieth and Kaufman are the only other people on the course. Here we go. He hits the ball, and it is hit too hard. The ball doesn't break enough, and goes five feet past.

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    1. I forgot that Langer and Matsuyama were still on the course. Matsuyama is at even par, and Langer is at 5 over.

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  125. Spieth makes the par coming back, and he is two down with two to play.

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  126. Leaderboard:

    1. D. Willett (ENG): -5 (72 holes)
    2. J. Spieth: -3 (70)

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  127. So now Spieth comes to the 17th hole, needing to make a birdie.

    Johnson finishes at 1-under par. Nick Faldo says that Johnson has outplayed everyone, but was done in by his putter. That was certainly true today.

    Day finishes at 1 over.

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  128. Spieth finally hits a good drive on 17 -- his first good drive since the 9th hole. He's in the fairway, and he'll have a good shot at the green.

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  129. If Spieth does birdie the last two holes, I don't know how they will do the playoff -- the sun is going down, and it will be almost dark by the time he finishes.

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  130. This, as they say, is the ball game. Spieth is out in the 17th fairway, trying to make a birdie. After the usual palaver with his caddie, he whacks at the ball and says immediately, "That's not even close to being there." He is right, as the ball lands in the same bunker that grabbed Dustin Johnson's ball. And that will do it for him.

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  131. Let's be honest: American golf fans will be heart-broken at Spieth's collapse around Amen Corner, and especially an inexplicable 7 on the 12th hole. But Willett came to 17 and 18 knowing that he was in the lead, and he played gloriously on both of them. He posted a 67 under extremely challenging conditions, and he deserves the title.

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    1. Agree about Willett. And heartbroken about Spieth.

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  132. The other thing, too, is that Spieth is going to go 74-73-72/73 on his last three rounds this weekend. In retrospect, he was hanging on for dear life after Thursday, kept afloat by surges of excellent play (and the weather holding off any serious challenge until today).

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