AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Jordan Spieth suffered a monumental collapse on the back nine of the 80th Masters, handing the green back to Danny Willett of Sheffield, England. Willett shot a final-round 5-under 67 to finish five under par to win by three shots.
Spieth looked to be in the driver’s seat after he took a five-shot lead into the back nine. But the defending champion bogeyed 10 and 11 and then took a quadruple 7 on the 12th hole. Spieth finished with a final-round 1-over 73 that included a 41 on that fateful back nine. Spieth finished tied for second with Lee Westwood.
Even more painful for Spieth was going to Butler Cabin and to the 18th green ceremony to present the green jacket to Willett.
“It was a really tough 30 minutes for me that hopefully I never experience again,” Spieth said.
Dustin Johnson, Paul Casey and J.B. Holmes finished tied at 1-under. Only six golfers broke par at the 80th Masters.
The 28-year-old Englishman wasn’t even planning to play Augusta. His wife was due with their first child on the weekend of the Masters. Their son, Zachariah James, was born on March 30, clearing Willett to a most unlikely path to becoming a major champion — and the $1.8 million first place check.
Willett won in his second appearance at the Masters. He’s only the eighth player to win the green jacket in two or fewer starts at Augusta. He ended Europe’s 17-year drought at Augusta National, and he became the first player from England to win the green jacket since Nick Faldo in 1996.
Willett is the second Englishman to win the Masters. The other is Faldo, who won three times.
Willett also is only the fourth European to win his first major title at the Masters.