The five questions that will decide the Masters

News & Tour

The answers will determine whether Jordan Spieth becomes the game's latest Major champion tonight

1
Is Spieth a freak or merely a phenomenal 21-year-old?
Winning Majors is seriously difficult. Winning them from the front is even more so. Winning them with the likes of Justin Rose, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy trying to hunt you down is an entirely different level. Doing all this at Augusta ramps it up yet further.

So far, only four men have won the Masters wire to wire – Craig Wood, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Ray Floyd, the most recent in 1976. It just doesn’t happen very often.

Spieth says that the experience of playing with a big lead yesterday will help him today. The other way of looking at it is it will just be too much to bear, especially if some of the big guns in front of hims start quickly…

2
Is there really a 64 out there?
Rory is convinced there is, but then that is exactly why Augusta troubles him. He feels like a 64 is his basically every time he tees it up here but it doesn’t quite work out like that. The truth is, he will need to show a little more patience, something he will work out sooner rather than later, otherwise his record here will remain frustratingly patchy.

If you presume that the winning score will be no worse than -14, which would involve Spieth shooting 74 and Rose no better than 70, Tiger and Rory both need a 64. You can’t rule it out with players of such immense talent but it means not only making piles of birdies and eagles but also giving nothing back to the course. The latter is arguably even harder than the former.

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3
Can Justin get off to a start?
On Friday he was three over for the first four holes and yesterday two over after five. As good as he has been thereafter, he surely can’t afford to let Spieth get away from him. He wants to be eating into that four-shot lead quickly, and get closer to his American rival than anyone has since Thursday.

If he can do that, then the memory of birdieing five of the last six holes last night should serve him well.
Rose wants to eat into the four-shot lead quickly and get closer to Spieth than anyone since Thursday." 4
Will Spieth be serene or edgy early on?
Last night’s back nine was a curious affair at odds with what Spieth had delivered up to that point.

Suddenly his golf was a little erratic, moments of brilliance mixed in with some poor drives, iron shots and chips. In fact, he only made seven pars yesterday, while there were three birdies, a bogey and a double from the 12th onwards.

The up-and-down at the last was incredibly brave and may prove to be decisive when all is said and done. But there is no question he has given the rest of the field some encouragement by showing that his golf can get scratchy. Let’s see how he starts tonight.

5
How’s Phil feeling?
We know the answer to this. He has nothing to lose and a fourth Green Jacket to gain. He absolutely loves Augusta and everything about it. There is no other golf course in the world where he feels more comfortable. He is playing better than he has since winning the Open in 2013.

He will come out fast and loose and aggressive.

Watch out, Jordan.

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