Jack Nicklaus offered sympathy to Jordan Spieth after the 22-year-old blew a considerable lead on the last day of the Masters.
“I think the whole golfing world feels for Jordan Spieth,” the Golden Bear wrote on social media. “He had a chance to do something truly special and something very few have done before—and be the youngest to accomplish that—and he just didn’t pull through. My heart goes out to him for what happened, but I know that Jordan is a young man who will certainly learn from this experience and there will be some good that comes out of this for him. He’s a wonderful talent and a wonderful young man.”
Spieth won last year’s Masters by tying the tournament record of -18 set in 1997 by Tiger Woods, the only man younger than Spieth to win at Augusta. But his bid to repeat came up short Sunday after his quadruple-bogey on the twelfth hole.
Nicklaus offered praise for the tournament’s winner:
I’ve watched Danny Willett play on television a few times and when I’ve seen him swing the golf club, I have thought, “Well, this young man looks like he’s a pretty darn good player.” He had moved himself up to 12th in the world, so he’s obviously done something right and was playing very good golf coming into Augusta. What impressed me so much is that when he realized he was in a position to win, he finished it—and that’s the mark of a champion: To finish a good round; give yourself an opportunity to win; and when the other fellow doesn’t finish, you’ve got to be there. Danny Willett was and kudos to him. What an amazing couple of weeks for him—from becoming a new father to becoming the latest Masters winner. My congratulations go to Danny for what he did.
Nicklaus won the Masters a record six times. He first won at 23, just one year older than Spieth, in 1963, and improbably pulled off a victory 23 years later in 1986 for his last major.