Can Spieth rebound from agony of Masters meltdown?

Mon Apr 11, 2016 3:57pm EDT
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) - The ecstasy of Danny Willett's three-shot victory at the Masters on Sunday will forever be linked to the eye-popping agony of Jordan Spieth's stunning collapse on the back nine at Augusta National.

Renowned for his mental toughness under pressure and already the winner of two major titles at the tender age of 22, Spieth was seemingly poised for a second successive Green Jacket after storming five strokes clear with nine holes to play.

That Spieth then went bogey, bogey, quadruple-bogey through 10, 11 and 12 to drop three shots off the pace was one of the most astonishing scenes ever played out at a major championship, and begs the question of how he will handle such a meltdown.

"If you would have told anybody in the golfing world that Jordan Spieth, with the lead, would make seven birdies on Sunday at Augusta and loses, they would have said you're crazy," said former world number one David Duval.

"This is going to add some scar tissue for Jordan Spieth. He got to the 10th tee and the wheels just came off. This is either one of the things that is going to make him tougher or it is going to be a hard thing to get over.

"This one got away from him and he is going to go back to the drawing board," Duval said in his role as an analyst on Golf Channel. "He will sit down this week and say, 'What happened and how do we not let that ever happen again?'"

Three-times Masters champion Nick Faldo, who clinched his third Green Jacket in 1996 after a dramatic last-day collapse by Greg Norman, agreed.

"This will scar him," said the English former world number one, who was also renowned for his steely on-course focus while racking up six major titles during his Hall of Fame career.   Continued...

Apr 10, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Jordan Spieth reacts on the 18th green during the final round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports