Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Jordan Spieth is leading the Masters.
The 22-year-old is doing his best interpretation of his 21-year-old self by leading the Masters after 18 holes for the second year in a row. Spieth made six birdies and no bogeys and will begin his second round Friday afternoon at 12:55 p.m. On Thursday we learned, again, that he’s really good.
We also learned a few other things…
Though he may not have been swinging or even standing on the first tee, Arnold Palmer was as beloved as ever Thursday morning alongside Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player. “Royalty,” said one fan.
— Masters Tournament (@TheMasters) April 7, 2016
We probably already knew this, but we found out quickly again how a player’s chances are drowned after 18 holes. This year’s evidence came in the form of Rickie Fowler. Fowler played the back nine in 8-over for a total score of 80. He’s 16 shots behind Spieth and in grave danger of missing the cut. I discussed that with Alan Shipnuck in the podcast below.
Especially if you don’t take them seriously. Ernie Els found that out the hard way on the first hole of his championship.
Ernie Els 7 putted the first hole, it’s excruciating to watch pic.twitter.com/0SJIyncF9k
— The Cauldron (@TheCauldron) April 7, 2016
Spieth beat the course with the aid of an early tee time, and many of those who followed him dealt with steady winds, gusting up to 30 mph. It made life difficult for the other members of golf’s new big three. Jason Day and Rory McIlroy both made multiple costly bogeys late on the back nine.
5. It’s a European leaderboard.
Outside of Spieth and Danny Lee, the remaining players in the top 8 positions on the leaderboard are all European: Lowry, Rose, Poulter, Garcia…sounds like a future Ryder Cup team, huh?