Karzmer: Fallout from Spieth’s collapse could linger


It’s been a few weeks since The Masters, but the tournament was just too exciting to not devote our first official column.

Jordan Spieth was well positioned to win his second consecutive Masters only to suffer one of the most historic meltdowns in recent memory to finish in a tie for second.

With so many possible topics from this one tournament, I feel like I’m not going to give the week it’s proper due. With that said, I would like to address the biggest question mark moving forward: scar tissue.

The first thing I’m going to keep an eye on is the lasting effect this collapse has on Spieth. I’ve been trying to remember other “collapses” to use for comparison purposes, and quite honestly, I don’t think there are a lot out there.

Yes, there are plenty of near misses. But I could only come up with a handful of major collapses that actually cost a clear frontrunner the tournament.

The question I want to see answered is if a loss like this will have a lasting effect on Jordan’s ability to win in the future.

Looking back in history, one might think that it would. Arnold Palmer was up seven shots with nine holes to play in the 1966 US Open. He lost that tournament. And he never won another major after that.

Jean Van de Velde was up three shots going onto the last hole of the 1999 British Open. He lost in a playoff and never really competed in a major again. Personally, I think we’re in a new era.

In probably the single biggest one hole disappointment, Phil Mickelson’s 72nd hole double bogey at Winged Foot cost him the 2006 US Open. But Phil was able to put that loss behind him and win multiple majors since then.

And in probably the best comparison, Rory McIlroy was winning the 2011 Masters by four shots with nine holes to play. He made an eight on the tenth hole and fell out of contention.

I remember there being a lot of talk back then surrounding whether or not that loss would sidetrack McIlroy’s entire career. What did he do? Came back and broke every record at the very next major to win his first U.S. Open. And then followed that up with three more major victories.

I don’t know if they actually spend more time away from the game these days or if the likes of Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook simply allow us to see it. But I feel like the millienial generation of today’s tour stars not only expect major championship success sooner, but also move on from losses faster than past generations.

If I were a betting man, I’d say Jordan Spieth will win at least one PGA Tour event this year. And I truly believe he’ll win at least one more green jacket at Augusta. But I’ll be watching closely, because I haven’t seen a tough loss like that in a long, long time.

One more thought: As good as these young guys are (and they’re really good), I still have to say they’re no Tiger Woods. Although it’s an unfair saying these guys will hear their entire careers, I have to say it: Tiger would have never done that.

Jonah Karzmer is a former golf professional who writes a Sunday golf column for The Vindicator. In his spare time he sells commercial insurance and loves getting feedback on his weekly columns via email at Jonah@thekarzmerinsurance.com.

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