Jordan Spieth Was the Saddest Sack on the Planet in Butler Cabin Last Night and That's Great
Jordan Spieth wanted to be anywhere else in the world and you could see it written across his face.
On the final day of The Masters, Jordan Spieth completely imploded on Augusta National's par-three 12th, sending two balls into the water for a seven and watching his lead evaporate in minutes. Meanwhile, Danny Willett kept plugging along and finished at -5 to win the 2016 Masters. Ordinarily this would be where we leave it, but one of the weird charms of Augusta is that the previous year's winner bestows the green jacket upon the newly crowned (jacketed?) winner. Spieth was the 2015 winner, which lead to the very awkward scene above, which includes Spieth nearly falling over his chair as he got up to put the jacket on Willett and some truly zombified reaction shots from Spieth.
This has sparked some chatter about the jacket tradition and whether the previous winner should be involved. Obviously this was a perfect and uncomfortable storm since Spieth was not only in contention to win it again this year, but took the lead Thursday with an opening round of 66 and did not surrender it until that disastrous 12th hole. Spieth was very open about his plan to win the tournament again, and was seven holes away from executing until he suddenly, breathtakingly wasn't. And even after falling apart on 12, he still had a shot to at least tie as late as the 16th hole—there had already been three holes-in-one there Sunday—but he biffed his putt after a good tee shot and then bogeyed 17 to end his hopes of repeating as winner. You've seen his face above, so you already know this.
It would be a shame to do away with the tradition, though, especially because of this incredible example of how weird and risky it is. In fact, this might be the best reason to keep the tradition. Spieth burst on the scene and dominated immediately; the storyline of much of last year's season was whether Spieth was going to win all four Majors in the same year. He didn't, obviously, but he has been the closest thing we've had to Tiger Woods, Robot Winner, since Tiger messed his life (and back) up.
Spieth has routinely been praised for his poise and other intangible characteristics given to young, nice boys who win. From afar, he does seem like a good dude, so it was fascinating to see him work through the most devastating moment of his very young career. After watching his thousand-yard stare right into CBS's camera, he still seemed like a good dude, but a good dude who was completely shell shocked and very much wanted to be anywhere else in the world. In that moment, he stopped being Jordan Spieth the Phenom, and was just Jordan Spieth the Human, and someone capable of screwing up just like the local hackers.
He even managed to be a little salty in front of the cameras, too. As he was walking off the course, CBS got a little too close, and maybe even wanted to speak with him and he was not having any of it. He, covered his face, waved them away, and kept walking to the clubhouse. So for the people out there (and there have been a few) wanting Cam Newton to take a lesson from Spieth for otherwise handling himself like a pro—that is, answering inane questions with a smile on his face—just remember that GIF up there. Losing sucks, and losing spectacularly sucks spectacularly. But that's what makes it fun for us, the voyeurs. Just watch the show. If you can't remember that these guys are human, they will probably remind you.