The conventional wisdom is that Augusta National is a veteran’s course. Sure, over the years, we’ve come to know nearly every nook and cranny of the legendary club, from Rae’s Creek to the (late) Eisenhower Tree.
Still, until you step on those grounds and see just how dramatic the hills are, how fast the greens, you can’t truly appreciate the course’s diabolical beauty. Perhaps that’s why the last time a player won in his first trip was in 1979, when Fuzzy Zoeller earned his green jacket.
Of course, Jordan Spieth‘s rise to the elite ranks of the PGA Tour has been anything but “conventional”, and if he keeps things going this weekend at the Masters, it’s not crazy to think he could add some green to his wardrobe in the near future.
At the halfway point of the tournament, Spieth is sitting pretty in a tie for third place with Thomas Bjorn, Jonas Blixt, and defending champ Adam Scott. While Bubba Watson grabbed the spotlight on Friday, the 20-year-old former Texas Longhorn has positioned himself to make some big noise on Moving Day.
While stars like Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia fell by the wayside, Spieth is one of just four players in the entire field who have posted red numbers each day. Unsurprisingly, the others – Watson, Blixt, and Fred Couples – all find themselves in contention as well, but Spieth’s game is refined beyond his years, especially for his first time at one of the most prestigious events in all of sports.
It hasn’t been a cakewalk, and Spieth has made his share of bogeys. But when you hit 28-of-36 greens in regulation and give yourself quality scoring chances, it lessens the damage that some of the icy fast putting surfaces can do.
There’s still a long way to go, and conditions are only going to get more demanding as the weekend progresses. That being said, so far Spieth is exceeding even the loftiest expectations that we’ve placed on him. Regardless of what happens this weekend, his credibility as a bona fide star is growing by the day.