Jordan Spieth had to see the Champions Locker Room, the clubhouse and Amen Corner. And he had to see them early.
When he visited Augusta National Golf Club in mid-October, Spieth wanted to get those distractions out of the way.
Because in a year with one of the strongest rookie classes in Masters Tournament history, Spieth is as good a first-time candidate as any to do what Fuzzy Zoeller did in 1979. That was the third and final time a Masters first-timer won.
“This is heaven on earth to us, and to me specifically,” Spieth said. “This is a tournament I’ve grown up watching and always dreamt and still continue to dream of winning some day. Whether that’s a few days from now or years in the future, hopefully one day I can have that green jacket,”
Spieth, 20, sometimes sounds like a rookie – he referred to Masters champions Ben Crenshaw and Tom Watson as “Mr. Crenshaw” and “Mr. Watson.” But he also brings confidence – and for good reason.
He picked up his first PGA Tour win at the 2013 John Deere Classic, making him the youngest winner on the Tour since 1931. This year, he’s tacked on four top-10 finishes.
Spieth said the feats of Masters champs such as Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson inspired young golfers like himself to want to do the same.
“Hopefully we can do the same to the younger generations, and it just keeps on circling around,” he said.
Spieth isn’t worried about history telling him he doesn’t stand much of a chance of putting on the green jacket Sunday. He might not instinctively know where every pin will be for each hole, but that doesn’t mean he’s doubting his chances.
“I think that there’s an emphasis on first-time winners – or the lack of first-time winners,” Spieth said. “But I don’t see much of a big – I don’t see that it’s a big deal at all. I think that if I get my game ready, then it’s possible.”