Spieth emerges as shining light after Masters debut

Sun Apr 13, 2014 9:19pm EDT
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By Julian Linden

AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) - Jordan Spieth may have missed his chance to become the youngest Masters champion but the 20-year-old showed he could yet be a champion for the ages.

The baby-faced Texan belied his tender years with a stunning debut at Augusta National, finishing tied for second behind Bubba Watson after flirting with history.

Had he won, Spieth would have become the youngest winner of the coveted green jacket, eclipsing the record set by Tiger Woods when he won the first of his four Masters titles in 1997 at the age of 21.

He would also have been the first rookie to win at Augusta since Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979 but the fact that he came up short hardly mattered.

Barely out of his teens and still too young to legally buy booze in the United States, Spieth played like a seasoned veteran, seemingly at ease in one of the most intimidating sports events in the world.

"I was nervous but I enjoyed it," he told reporters.

"I was embracing it and I was taking less club, I had adrenaline. I had a great time out there today."

Spieth has been earmarked for greatness for years. He twice won the U.S. Junior Amateur title and finished 21st in his first appearance at a major, the 2012 U.S. Open, when he was an amateur.   Continued...

U.S. golfer Jordan Spieth reacts after missing a putt on the 16th hole during the final round of the Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia April 13, 2014. REUTERS/Jim Young