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Spieth’s collapse may spark his career

first_imgWith the continuous shakeup of the leaderboard at the Masters, one player remained the constant.As the plot continued to thicken, Jordan Spieth remained atop the field. The seemingly unflappable 22-year-old was cruising to his second green jacket in as many years.Then, it happened. Spieth’s inexplicable implosion in the middle of Amen Corner on Sunday all but destroyed his chances of retaining his crown as king of Augusta National. In the span of just a few minutes, Spieth went from leader to chaser — from 5-under-par to 1-under. Surely, fans thought their eyes were deceiving them when the tournament leader found the water hazard twice on the same hole.He was indeed unable to rebound from his stunning 7 — a quadruple bogey on the par-3 12th hole.Danny Willett went on to win the Masters and Spieth had to trudge through the process of presenting the Englishman with the green jacket. Spieth showed genuine class during what was surely an agonizing experience.Yet these moments are inevitable in arguably the cruelest sport on the face of the planet. Spieth took home the hardware from the U.S. Open last June, but Dustin Johnson three-putted the 18th green on a fateful Sunday and finished just a stroke worse than Spieth. Johnson collapsed on the 72nd hole at Chambers Bay. Spieth lost his magical touch on one hole on the back nine at Augusta. It happens to the very best.Spieth will never forget the burn of the 2016 Masters, but the horror story that was the 12th hole could actually make him even better in the future. He has already snagged two majors. Golfing great Sergio Garcia has never won a major, and he turned pro when Spieth was in the early stages of grade school.Spieth’s Sunday debacle was incomprehensible, but the nature of the sport suggests that something like this was bound to happen at some point in his career. In a sense, this experience could be a catalyst for Spieth to take his game to the next level. He is so young and already possesses such a refined skillset, but he failed to break 70 after shooting a sporty 66 on Thursday. A 66 at Augusta is unreal, yet the Spieth of the future will likely be able to card that score on all four days. He erred on one hole, but one hole can doom a player in this unforgiving game. Ernie Els six-putted the first hole on Thursday and was immediately out of contention.Augusta National is ruthless, yet Spieth was nearly infallible in this tournament. His short game was reliable, as he correctly read the challenging greens time and time again. He just happened to err on one hole, and well, that was that.Spieth has the potential to go down as one of the greatest of all time, and he is precocious both on and off the links. After a devastating turn of events in Augusta, Spieth faced the media and came back with earnest, candid responses.The consistency this young man exhibits from hole to hole and round to round has the capability of blinding fans from the fact that he is mortal. To see this golfing demigod so somber was eerie. While he does not provide fans with the raw emotion of a Tiger Woods, his game in and of itself is something to behold. He was still the personification of equanimity after losing out on Sunday, but a certain fire ought to be brewing from within this competitor. This Sunday was certainly one to forget for Spieth, but he simply will not be able to shake the image of the 12th hole.That is not necessarily a bad thing.This Masters moment will likely fade into the background when Spieth is surrounded by major trophies one day, leaning back on his throne of greatness. Or perhaps this moment might be in the forefront of his mind as he reflects on an illustrious career, noting that Sunday was the day that sparked his transition from great to unstoppableThis was a career-defining moment for Spieth. In other words, the best is yet to come. Josh Cohen is a sophomore majoring in broadcast and digital journalism. His column, “Cohen’s Corner,” runs Tuesdays.last_img read more