Spieth's Augusta dream in sight

Ben Crenshaw and his longtime caddie, Carl Jackson, opened that week by giving Jordan some tips about the greens. Tom Watson, 64, told Spieth about the 63 he shot last month on the Champions Tour, his first round with a score lower than his age. And at a dinner Wednesday night, Jack Nicklaus shared some of the local knowledge that helped him win here six times.

Spieth needs less help than most. Paired with Tiger Woods in January, he shot 63 to Woods' 71 at Torrey Pines, where Tiger had won eight tournaments, including the 2008 U.S. Open. Spieth's 62 in the company of Phil Mickelson last summer inspired Lefty to call the Presidents Cup captain, Fred Couples, and lobby for the kid to make the team (he did).

As a 16-year-old on a sponsor's exemption, Spieth actually contended in the Byron Nelson. The only two-time U.S. Junior Amateur champion not named Tiger Woods won his way into the Open Championship and the Masters at last July's John Deere Classic, where his miracle comeback included a hole-out from a bunker and enough grit to survive a five-hole playoff.

Saturday, Spieth outscored his playing partner, Adam Scott, by a half-dozen strokes, all while spending much of the afternoon giving himself pep talks.

"I'm 20 and this is the Masters," Spieth explained, "And this is a tournament I've always dreamt about. And as Mr. Crenshaw has always said, it brings out more emotion than ever in somebody."

Siblings included. Spieth's younger sister, Ellie, was born with a neurological disorder and was not on the Augusta National grounds; she was scheduled to be cheering in front of the nearest TV. "She's Jordan's biggest fan," Steven said.

The kid brother is right there with Ellie, along with parents Shawn and Chris, both college athletes. Ellie attended some of Steven's college basketball games, wearing Brown colors and supporting her brother with such passion that he always heard her voice above the others in the crowd.

The family that plays together stays together. Before his third round, Jordan woke up Steven at 10:30 a.m. by pouring cold water on him. Yes, it will be a little easier to get out of bed before the final round.

"I know it will be a good night's sleep Sunday night," said the father, Shawn. "We won't get one tonight."

But this much is clear: Jordan Spieth isn't afraid to do this. He isn't afraid to be the first Masters rookie to prevail since Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979. He isn't afraid to conquer Augusta National faster than the 21-year-old Tiger did in 1997.

"It's pretty crazy to think he can win this," Steven Spieth said. "But he's believed he could do it for a long time."

Way back when, the golfer and the basketball player did what brothers always do in their yards and driveways: They dreamed of sinking the championship shot.

Now the fantasy doesn't feel quite as good as the reality. Sunday at Augusta National, with his 6-foot-6 brother rising above the gallery, Jordan Spieth gets his chance to be the tallest man alive.

-- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 23306078. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 23306078. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 23306078. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 23306078.
Page
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...