Pro Golf Weekly

Spieth’s (Almost) Greatest Final Round In Major Championship History

Jordan Spieth nearly pulled off the impossible. Down nine shots to Patrick Reed to start his final round, Spieth famously said something along the lines, ‘It’s going to be nice to play a Sunday at the Masters with no pressure.’

Credit: Getty Images/David Cannon

But that leisurely Sunday round with best friend Justin Thomas started to turn into something historic, and with each birdie the approval from the Augusta patrons got louder and louder.

The greatest comeback in Masters history occurred in 1956, when Jack Burke Jr. came from eight strokes down to win the green jacket. But Burke Jr. shot a 71 that day and relied more on the collapse of Ken Venturi who shot a final-round 80 to claim victory.

The course record is 63, held by Nick Price (1986) and Greg Norman (1996) – neither of whom did it in the final round, and neither won the green jacket.

Spieth was combining the greatest comeback with a course record… and on a Sunday.

Credit: Getty Images/Andrew Redington

The GREATEST final round in major championship history was his for the taking. All Spieth needed was a par on the final hole to match the course record 63, while a birdie would have broken it and matched Reed at 15-under par.

But an errant tee shot on 18 ended those chances. Despite the disappointing finish, Spieth was pleased with the opportunity to make history.

“To be able to have a chance to win this tournament five years in a row is really, really cool. That’s how I am going to take today,” said Spieth.

Here’s a look at Spieth’s ALMOST-GREATEST final round in major championship history:

HOLE NO. 1

Par-4, 445 yards
This is the hole that Spieth doubled on round two, after holding the 18-hole lead. He had gone par-double-par the previous three rounds. Yet on Sunday, he stuck his second shot from 157 to 7 feet and walked away with only the 18th birdie of the tournament.
To-Par: Birdie
Round: 1 under
Tournament: 6 under
Reed: 14 under (hadn’t teed off)
Spread: 8 Back

HOLE NO. 2

Par-5, 575 yards
Another hole that ruined Spieth on Friday, as he bogeyed one of the easiest holes on the course. But on this day he drained a birdie to quietly go 2-under par.
To-Par: Birdie
Round: 2 under
Tournament: 7 under
Reed: 14 under (hadn’t teed off)
Spread: 7 Back

HOLE NO. 3

Credit: Getty Images/Andrew Redington

Par-4, 350 yards
A tough par 4 with a dangerous pin placement, Spieth was happy with a par here.
To-Par: Par
Round: 2 under
Tournament: 7 under
Reed: 14 under (hadn’t teed off)
Spread: 7 Back

HOLE NO. 4

Par-3, 240 yards
Spieth walked away with another solid par. At 2 under through 4 holes, Spieth was off to strong start but still a long shot.
To-Par: Par
Round: 2 under
Tournament: 7 under
Reed: 13 under (Reed Bogeys No. 1)
Spread: 6 Back

HOLE NO. 5

Par-4, 455 yards
Spieth plays it conservative off the tee, but sticks his approach from 207 to less than 3 feet for a birdie to go to 8-under par. This is where the buzz of Spieth’s round started to gain traction on social media, as his name appeared on the first page of the leaderboard.
To-Par: Birdie
Round: 3 under
Tournament: 8 under
Reed: 13 under (Reed Pars No. 2)
Spread: 5 Back

HOLE NO. 6

Credit: Getty Images/Andrew Redington

Par-3, 180 yards
With a tough pin on the top tier, Spieth’s tee shot fell about 50 feet below the hole. He two-putted for par.
To-Par: Par
Round: 3 under
Tournament: 8 under
Reed: 14 under (Reed Birdies No. 3)
Spread: 6 Back

HOLE NO. 7

Par-4, 450 yards
A missed opportunity here as Spieth struck a perfect approach to 5 feet of the hole, but missed his birdie try, and had to settle for a tap-in par.
To-Par: Par
Round: 3 under
Tournament: 8 under
Reed: 14 under (Reed Pars No. 4)
Spread: 6 Back

HOLE NO. 8

Par-5, 570 yards
Spieth left his approach 30 yards short of the green, but hit a perfect wedge to 2 feet for a tap-in birdie. A par by Reed on No. 5 cut the spread to 5 shots.
To-Par: Birdie
Round: 4 under
Tournament: 9 under
Reed: 14 under (Reed Pars No. 5)
Spread: 5 Back

HOLE NO. 9

Credit: Getty Images/Andrew Redington

Par-4, 460 yards
Speith drained a knee-knocking left-to-righter from 3 yards to turn at 5-under 31. This is when all hell broke loose as Spieth went into double digits for the first time, while Reed had bogeyed No. 6. A two shot swing made the spread just three with a full nine holes to play for a red-hot Spieth, and 12 for (at the time) a struggling Reed.
To-Par: Birdie
Round: 5 under
Tournament: 10 under
Reed: 13 under (Reed Bogeys No. 6)
Spread: 3 Back

HOLE NO. 10

Par-4, 495 yards
After a perfect drive, Spieth’s approach was short, forcing Spieth to settle for a two-putt par. A birdie on No. 7 by Reed pushed the spread back to 4 shots.
To-Par: Par
Round: 5 under
Tournament: 10 under
Reed: 14 under (Reed Birdies No. 7)
Spread: 4 Back

HOLE NO. 11

Par-4, 505 yards
The start of Amen Corner, Spieth had made par here the previous three rounds and that’s what he did on Sunday, making a nifty par save from 4 feet to remain bogey-free.
To-Par: Par
Round: 5 under
Tournament: 10 under
Reed: 14 under (Reed Pars No. 8)
Spread: 4 Back

HOLE NO. 12

Credit: Getty Images/David Cannon

Par-3, 155 yards
On the hole where Spieth has famously struggled, he mocks himself after a safe tee shot, as if to say, ‘I didn’t land in the water on this Sunday.’ With his ball on the top, about three feet into the fringe, Spieth miraculously rolled in a long bomb 30-footer for birdie to send the patrons into a frenzy.
To-Par: Birdie
Round: 6 under
Tournament: 11 under
Reed: 14 under (Reed Pars No. 9)
Spread: 3 Back

HOLE NO. 13

Par-5, 510 yards
Spieth hit a vicious hybrid shot from 234 just off the fairway, in the mulch area, and then begged for it to “go, go” as it just sailed over Rae’s Creek, and rolled up to the green, landing 12 feet of the hole. But Spieth missed the putt badly to the left, and walked away with a disappointing birdie. If the eagle had gone in it may have been the greatest eagle in major championship history. Still, Spieth was just two shots back now, and Augusta National was rocking.
To-Par: Birdie
Round: 7 under
Tournament: 12 under
Reed: 14 under (Reed Pars No. 10)
Spread: 2 Back

HOLE NO. 14

Par-4, 440 yards
A par on this hole, coupled with a bogey by Reed on No. 11, cut the lead to one. The cheers grew louder.
To-Par: Par
Round: 7 under
Tournament: 12 under
Reed: 13 under (Reed Bogeys No. 11)
Spread: 1 Back

HOLE NO. 15

Credit: Getty Images/Andrew Redington

Par-5, 530 yards
Spieth got on in two, but left himself 60 feet away for an eagle. Two putts later he had a birdie to remain one back as gutsy Reed birdied No. 12.
To-Par: Birdie
Round: 8 under
Tournament: 13 under
Reed: 14 under (Reed Birdies No. 12)
Spread: 1 Back

HOLE NO. 16

Par-3, 170 yards
Spieth drains long-bomb birdie on 16 to tie Reed at 14-under par. Reminiscent of his Open win at Birkdale, Spieth looks at Michael Greller, and instead of saying “Get that,” he says, “Are you kidding me!” The home of Bobby Jones is now absolutely electric.
To-Par: Birdie
Round: 9 under
Tournament: 14 under
Reed: 14 under (Reed Pars No. 13)
Spread: Tied Up

HOLE NO. 17

Par-4, 440 yards
Spieth hit a decent tee shot, but left himself about 20 feet on his approach. A two-putt for par and a shot lost as Reed made his final birdie to get in the red at No. 14 and move to 15 under.
To-Par: Par
Round: 9 under
Tournament: 14 under
Reed: 15 under (Reed Birdies No. 14)
Spread: 1 Back

HOLE NO. 18

Credit: Getty Images/David Cannon

Par-4, 465 yards
The stage was set for a thrilling and historic finish. Spieth needed a birdie to take the clubhouse lead at 15-under par, while setting an all time Masters and major championship final round record with a 62 at the Masters. But Spieth did what he’d done in the opening round, he clipped a tree limb on the left while trying to play a soft cut. After hitting the branch, the ball dropped straight down, landing about 175 yards from the tee box. With 270 to the pin, he had no choice but to lay up. Two shots later, Spieth was facing an 8 footer for par to tie the course record of 63. He missed it low left for his first bogey of the day, ending a near historic Sunday comeback at the Masters. The patrons gathered around 18 appreciated Spieth’s run and gave the 24-year old superstar a standing ovation.
To-Par: Bogey
Round: 8 under
Tournament: 13 under
Reed: 15 under (Reed Pars Nos. 15-18)
Spread: 2 Back

Jeff Smith

Jeff is a writer and content producer for Pro Golf Weekly. He is working on a book, documenting the 2017 and 2018 seasons on the major golf tours.

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