NYT: Spieth Handles Defeat with Class and Dignity


This article first appeared in the New York Times:

AUGUSTA, Ga. — “More important than golf,” Jordan Spieth said Sunday night as a preamble to publicly congratulating the new Masters champion,Danny Willett. And with those words, Spieth showed that he would live to laugh about his Masters meltdown.

Maybe not Monday, as the shock was wearing off and reality setting in of the three-hole stretch in which he gave back six strokes to swing open the door for Willett to waltz through.

Only a few minutes before saying the words, Spieth had draped the green jacket around the shoulders of Willett, who earned the title by matching the low round of the day, a five-under 67, to finish three strokes ahead of Spieth and Lee Westwood, at five-under 283.

Only a few minutes before, Spieth had surrendered his jacket to an Augusta National member for safekeeping in the locker that Spieth shares with Arnold Palmer in the room in the Augusta National clubhouse reserved for past champions. His face when he handed the garment over called to mind a young child returning to the original owners a lost puppy he had found and with which he had formed an instant attachment.

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