Last Updated Apr 12, 2015 7:43 PM EDT
Jordan Spieth romped to his first major championship with a record-tying performance at the Masters on Sunday, shooting an 18-under 270 to become the first wire-to-wire winner of the green jacket since 1976.
No one got closer than three shots of the lead all day. Spieth shot a 2-under 70 to hold off Justin Rose and Phil Mickelson.
Rose, the 2013 U.S. Open champion playing in the final group of the major for the first time, and Mickelson were four shots back.
No one else was closer than seven.
Spieth became the first Masters champion to lead after every round since Raymond Floyd 39 years ago, and only the fifth in the history of the tournament. And it was a bit of redemption after he played in the final group a year ago making his Augusta debut, building a two-shot lead but fading to a runner-up finish behind Bubba Watson.
For all the talk about the Grand Slam bid by Rory McIlroy and the return of Woods, this week was about the arrival of another star.
“It’s awfully impressive,” McIlroy said after finishing fourth. “It’s nice to get your major tally up and running at an early stage in your career. It’s great to see, great for the game, and I’m sure there will be many more.”
Spieth became the first wire-to-wire winner at the Masters since Raymond Floyd in 1976, and this might have been even more special. Craig Woods in 1941 is the only other Masters champion who led by at least three shots from the opening round to the trophy presentation.
Spieth went out in 35 and made birdie at Nos. 1, 2, and 8.
Then he made a record-setting birdie putt at No. 10. It was his 26th birdie of the Masters, breaking Phil Mickelson’s record of 25 from back in 2001.
Then Spieth shut things down on the second nine by boldly going for the par-5 greens in two at Nos. 13 and 15. Both ended in birdie for Spieth, CBSSports.com reported.
Phil Mickelson tried to make a run. So did Justin Rose. Neither got closer than three shots at any point, and it wasn’t long before Spieth was making another birdie putt to take the drama out of the back nine.
Mickelson (69) and Rose (70) tied for second. It was the 10th time Mickelson has been runner-up in a major. Woods jarred his right wrist then he struck wood under the pine straw on the ninth hole. He recovered and closed with a 73, 13 shots behind.
Spieth won for the third time on the PGA Tour and fifth time worldwide. He will rise to No. 2 in the world, still a ways to go to catch McIlroy at the top. When McIlroy won back-to-back majors last year to establish himself as the game’s best player, the quest was to find a rival.
Spieth answered that this week on perhaps the biggest stage in the sport with his record-setting week at Augusta.