The final round of the 80th Masters appeared to be completely void of drama, until it wasn’t. Defending champion Jordan Spieth had led the tournament for seven straight days dating back to last year, and was nine holes away from his second-straight green jacket. But then Spieth utterly collapsed down the stretch, highlighted by his Roy McAvoy moment on the 12th hole. Now the golf world has a few major questions to answer after Augusta, mainly: can Spieth rebound from that awful let down? And also, who is Danny Willett?
To be fair, the 28-year-old Englishman’s win wasn’t completely out of the blue. Going off at 50/1 odds, he was in the same middling-tier as guys like Charl Schwartzel, Zach Johnson, and Sergio Garcia. But to be slipping on a green jacket for his first PGA Tour win – in just his second ever trip to Augusta – seems like the kind of coming out party that could lead to bigger and better things on the tour.
Then again, this generation of golf has had plenty of Keegan Bradleys and Webb Simpsons, young guys who put it together for one weekend and haven’t really been relevant since. While it remains to be seen which category Willett will fall into, you can be sure Americans will see a lot more of him, as Willett’s win comes with a five-year PGA Tour exemption.
As for Spieth’s psyche, well, there’s a reason I buried the lede. I’m not worried about it. In the least. The 22-year-old has already shown maturity beyond his years over his short career and should be able to shake this loss off. Remember Rory McIlroy’s epic Masters collapse in 2011 that was supposed to dog him for years? He responded by destroying the field two months later at the U.S. Open by eight strokes. I expect Spieth to be right back near the top of the leaderboard at Oakmont in June.
Here are my odds for the upcoming PGA calendar following the madness of Augusta.
Odds to win the 2016 U.S. Open:
Odds Danny Willett wins another major in his career: 22/3
Odds Lee Westwood wins a major in his career: 27/2
Odds Jordan Spieth never wins another major in his career: 165/1
Odds another hole features three hole-in-ones during one round this season: 13,000/1
(Photo credit: Erik Charlton [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.)
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