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Jordan Spieth Attempts To Buck Trends Of Recent 36-Hole Leaders

Masters 2015: Could We Witness a Jordan Spieth Collapse?
Jordan Spieth dominated the first two rounds of the 2015 Masters, but Sports Illustrated's Alan Shipnuck gauges the likelihood of things falling apart over the weekend during Friday's GOLF.com Live From Augusta recap show.

The Masters is basically over, right? The coronation of 21-year-old Jordan Spieth appears inevitable.

On Friday, Spieth matched the record for the largest 36-hole lead in the Masters, becoming the fourth player to take a five-shot lead into the weekend. Herman Keiser, in 1937, Jack Nicklaus (1975) and Raymond Floyd (1976) all went on to victory.

Recent history, however, shows a different trend.

In the last 10 Masters, only two 36-hole leaders converted: Bubba Watson last year and Trevor Immelman in 2008. During that stretch, Chris DiMarco had the largest halfway advantage, a four-shot lead in the rain-delayed 2005 tournament.

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In five previous appearances at Augusta National, DiMarco had three top-12 finishes. After a pair of 67s, he was at 10-under, four clear of Thomas Bjorn and six ahead of Tiger Woods. His lead was still four as he played the 10th hole during the third round on Sunday morning, but a double bogey and a Woods birdie flipped the momentum. By the end of the round, Woods led by three.

In a memorable duel, DiMarco and Woods went to a playoff (thanks in part to Tiger’s remarkable chip-in on the 16th). Woods jarred a 15-foot birdie on the first playoff hole to win his fourth green jacket.

Photo:

Chris DiMarco reacts to a chip-in not dropping on the 72nd hole in the 2005 Masters. He would lose to Tiger Woods in a playoff.

The most glaring difference between 2005 and 2015 is the participants. Jordan Spieth is not Chris DiMarco, and Charley Hoffman, Spieth's closest pursuer, is certainly not Tiger Woods.

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After his second round, Spieth said he won't do any scoreboard watching over the weekend, and he has repeatedly mentioned that his final-round pairing last year with Bubba Watson taught him to be patient. This weekend, Spieth will get the chance to test his newfound patience and determine which side of history he lands on.

Results of the 36-hole leader in the last 10 Masters

2014: Bubba Watson, 3 shot lead, Won 

2013: Jason Day, 1 shot lead, 3rd

2012: Fred Couples/Jason Dufner, 1 shot lead, 12th/24th

2011: Rory McIlroy: 2 shot lead, 15th 

2010: Ian Poulter/Lee Westwood, 2 shot lead, 10th/2nd 

2009: Chad Campbell/Kenny Perry, 1 shot lead, T2/T2

2008: Trevor Immelman, 1 shot lead, Won

2007: Vijay Singh/Brett Wetterich, 1 shot lead, 13th/37th 

2006: Chad Campbell, 3 shot lead, T3

2005: Chris DiMarco, 4 shot lead, 2th

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