The second-youngest Masters winner at 21, American sets sights on Rory McIlroy's top spot
Augusta (USA): Jordan Spieth won a historic Masters triumph for the ages on Sunday, the 21-year-old American deftly handling the final-round tension to hold off Phil Mickelson and Justin Rose and win his first major title by four shots.
USA's Jordan Spieth celebrates winning the 79th Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on Sunday in Augusta, Georgia. Pic/AFP
Writing an epic conclusion to a week of domination at Augusta National, Spieth fired a two-under par 70 to finish on 18-under 270, matching the 72-hole tournament record set by Tiger Woods in 1997.
"This was arguably the greatest day of my life," Spieth said. "It's incredible. It's a dream come true."
Spieth claimed the green jacket symbolic of Masters supremacy and the top prize of $1.8 million at the $10 million event by denying two of golf's top major champions another crown. "It was very nerve-wracking today," Spieth said. "With two major champions right behind me, I couldn't let up."
England's Rose, the 2013 US Open winner and Spieth's last-pair playing partner, shot 70 to share second on 274 with 44-year-old US left-hander Mickelson, a five-time major winner who shot 69.
"I played a good solid round but I needed something exceptional. I just didn't quite get it. Jordan played great," Mickelson said.
Top-ranked Rory McIlroy, seeking a third consecutive major win to complete his career Grand Slam, was fourth on 276 after a 66. Woods, a 14-time major champion, fired a 73 to share 17th on 283, his best finish since 2013.
Spieth, who will jump from fourth to second in the world rankings, became the second-youngest winner in Masters history, five months older than Woods when he won his first major in 1997.
Also, Spieth became only the fifth wire-to-wire winner in Masters history, joining Craig Wood in 1941, Arnold Palmer in 1960, Jack Nicklaus in 1972 and Ray Floyd in 1976.
Spieth's now aiming for Rory's No 1 spot. "The ultimate goal I have is try to become the number one player in the world," he said.
Meanwhile, Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri drew the curtains on his Augusta Masters campaign with a string of 18 pars to total four-over 292. Lahiri finished the prestigious tournament in tied 49th spot.
Did you know?
As a four-year-old Texas Rangers (US baseball team) fan, Jordan Spieth attempted to catch a stray ball at a game, lost it in the lights and had his two front teeth knocked out!
Born: July 27, 1993 Birthplace: Dallas, Texas Home: Dallas, Texas
Height: 6 feet 1 inches (1.85 metres)
Joined PGA Tour: 2013
PGA Tour wins: Three Major wins & 1 Masters (2015)