Spieth's presence atop the leaderboards at the Masters is no fluke. No freak round to catapult him to the top. No streak of good luck. And to those paying attention, he's not come out of nowhere. After a year at Texas, where he spearheaded a national championship effort for the Horns, Spieth took the PGA by storm as a rookie. His 2013 Rookie of the Year season was highlighted by winning the John Deere Classic, becoming the youngest to win a PGA Tour event in 82 years.
A year ago, he didn't even qualify for the Masters. But a meteoric rise has him front and center at Augusta National this year. In a crowd of long time professionals, it's Spieth that's been the steady hand, posting consistent rounds of 71-70-70. He's avoided the disaster a course as demanding as Augusta National can bring, remaining focused on each shot. And, despite this being his first trip to the Masters, he's been remarkably cool throughout the week.
And now he finds himself the center of attention. Tied at -5 with 2012 Masters winner Bubba Watson, Spieth will tee off with Watson in the final pairing at 1:40pm central, on CBS. A win gives the youngster his first major championship, and a host of historic marks: youngest Masters winner ever (besting Tiger Woods' 1997 record), first player to win a Masters debut since 1979, and youngest major winner since 1931. While it's still very early to make any major pronouncements about the career trajectory of Spieth, a win would be one hell of an introduction to the golf public at large.
I'm looking forward to a Sunday, on my couch, Shiner in hand and a burnt orange polo on. This is your open thread. Hook 'em, Jordan.