Jordan Spieth takes his Masters shot

"We're always having putting contests and yelling out across the green, 'This is to win the Masters!'" said Spieth. "Then you make a 50-footer ... and start going crazy. The members would all complain, would come out and say, 'Keep it down. Keep it down.'"

So you should have seen the Spieth family July 14, as the final round of the John Deere Classic unfolded for 19-year-old Jordan, who was there only because of a sponsor's exemption.

"We had said if he were within 3 shots, we were going to jump on a plane Sunday morning, fly to Chicago and drive down," said Shawn Spieth, Jordan's father. "But he was 6 back starting the day, so we said we'll just watch [on TV]."

Said Steven: "I was playing soccer with some buddies and saw he was 6 shots back, and I was like, 'Oh, well, may as well go have some fun on Sunday.'"

Then Spieth, ranked 120th in the world at the time, began to creep up the leaderboard.

"We finished up, and I realized he had about six holes left and he was right there," said Steven. "We went back to a buddy's house and everyone else went swimming. I stood there. I didn't sit down the rest of the time."

Spieth birdied five of his final six holes, including a greenside bunker shot on No. 18 that dove into the cup and squeezed him into a three-way playoff. Spieth, the John Deere crowd and his Dallas audience went wild.

"I think I might have been even more pumped up than him, running around the house," said Steven.

"I didn't find out until my last lesson of the day," said McCormick. "[The student] comes in and says, 'I can't believe Jordan's in a playoff.' At that point he said, 'Let's just go watch it.' He couldn't care less about his lesson."

So they all watched -- McCormick and his client at Brook Hollow, Steven at his buddy's home, Shawn, Chris and daughter Ellie at the house with the grown-over makeshift green -- as Jordan outlasted Zach Johnson and David Hearn in a five-hole playoff. The victory earned him that $828,000 check and a place on the charter jet that would take him from the Quad Cities Airport to Edinburgh and the Open Championship.

"I was crying when it happened," said Chris. "Your heart was beating so fast and just wanted it so bad for him because he wanted it so bad."

But guess when Spieth got misty eyed? When CBS' David Feherty, in the post-round interview, mentioned the M-word (the Masters) and the automatic 2014 invitation to Augusta National.

Nothing against the other three majors Spieth has played in, but the Masters had him at hello. Asked what Jordan would choose, the winner's check at the John Deere or the Masters invite, Shawn didn't think twice.

"Oh, the Masters," he said. "Every time."

Spieth, now ranked 13th in the world, isn't afraid to say that he thinks he could win the green jacket in his Masters debut. ( Fuzzy Zoeller was the last one to win on his first try, in 1979.) The course, he said, "fits my game well."

He also isn't afraid to admit that he wandered into the Champions Locker Room at Augusta National, saw the brass nameplates on the oak lockers and dreamed again.

"I went in there and kind of told myself, 'This is where you need to be,'" said Spieth. "This is the pinnacle of golf. ... It's not easy to get into that room, and those guys that have are in pretty elite company."

Spieth's Dallas midtown home isn't a shrine to his golf career. There are a few sets of clubs in the garage, some yardage books on his desk, a handful of flagstick flags and putters on the wall and assorted golf books, including several on the Masters, on a shelf. But all in all, nobody is going to mistake it for the World Golf Hall of Fame.

But as soon as it gets framed, there is one item that will get special treatment in Spieth's house. Remember that 7½-by-5½-inch Masters invitation?

Spieth does. And always will.

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