Red-Hot Jordan Spieth Shoots 8-Under 64 in Final Round of 2018 Masters

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistApril 8, 2018

Jordan Spieth reacts to his birdie on the ninth hole during the fourth round at the Masters golf tournament Sunday, April 8, 2018, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Chris Carlson/Associated Press

Jordan Spieth fired an eight-under 64 in Sunday's final round of the 2018 Masters Tournament to reach 13 under overall at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia, but it wasn't quite enough to overcome eventual champion Patrick Reed (-15).

Spieth, who held a two-stroke lead after Round 1 at six under, struggled over the next two days to enter the fourth round at five under. He tallied nine birdies on a card with a single bogey to force his way back into contention before coming up just short and finishing third.

A victory would have earned the 24-year-old American his second green jacket and set the new record for largest Sunday comeback in Masters history at nine strokes.

It didn't take long to see it could be a special day for the three-time major champion.

He opened with back-to-back birdies and, perhaps more importantly, his iron play was on point. His game always seems to fall into place when he's successfully attacking greens with confidence, and thus not forced to become overreliant on his putter to save the day.

Masters Highlights spotlighted his terrific approach and subsequent birdie to set the tone at the first:

Masters Highlights @MastersMoments

Masters 2018: Jordan Spieth | 1st Hole, Round 4 https://t.co/WEGDFNogMo

Spieth added three more birdies en route to a blistering five-under 31 on the front side.

ESPN Stats & Info provided further details about his rapid rise up the leaderboard:

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

Jordan Spieth shot 5-under 31 on the front 9. It's the best front 9 or back 9 in the Masters in Spieth's career. He is now 3 back after starting the day 9 back. https://t.co/AE70AjiCJG

The charge continued after the turn. After pouring in birdies at Nos. 12, 13 and 15, he stared down a putt from about 30 feet for a share of the lead—and he drained it.

Here's a look at the clutch, long-range make from the event's 2015 champ, via the Masters Tournament:

Masters Tournament @TheMasters

.@JordanSpieth moves into a tie for the lead at 14-under par with the lengthy birdie on No. 16. #themasters https://t.co/vAGnHpHyno

Spieth did miss a couple of makeable putts down the stretch, including an eagle look at the 13th and a birdie opportunity on the 17th, which proved costly in the end.

An errant tee shot on the final hole bounced out of the trees, but the distance forced him to make a rare layup on a par four. Another laser-guided approach shot gave him a chance to save par, but his ensuing putt burned the edge, leading to a closing bogey.

In the end, Spieth was three mid-range putts away from a record-setting afternoon at Augusta and potentially another major title on his resume. It was still a tremendous, memorable round, but it will be hard not to lament those missed opportunities down the stretch.

His next chance to compete for one of golf's biggest prizes will come at the U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in New York in June.