Jordan Spieth had been pegged as the next big thing in golf long before this weekend.
But his performance at Augusta National made it clear that the future is now, and the Spieth will be one of the top names in golf for many years to come.
The 21-year-old Spieth shot a record-tying 18-under par to win the Masters by four shots over Phil Mickelson and Justin Rose.
Spieth’s performance was record-breaking (or close to it) in several ways.
Spieth is now the second-youngest winner in Masters history, trailing only Tiger Woods.
He was the first player since 1976 to lead after every round, and the only player other than Craig Wood in 1941 to never let his lead drop below three shots.
He was the first player to ever reach 19-under par in the tournament’s history, and his final score matched Woods for the best total ever. He would have set a new record, but missed a five-foot par putt on the final hole.
Spieth Win Could Be First of Many for 21-Year-Old
But for Spieth, it was all about winning the tournament. This was just the fifth win of his professional career, and his first in a major, even if few believe it will be his last.
“This was arguably the greatest day of my life,” said Spieth. “To join Masters history and put my name on that trophy and to have this jacket forever, it’s something that I can’t fathom right now.”
Spieth was one of three major stories heading into the Masters. Golf’s other young superstar, Rory McIlroy, came in (and remains) the world’s number one ranked player, with some wondering if he could make a run at winning golf’s Grand Slam in 2015.
Meanwhile, the legendary Tiger Woods was back in action after two months off following a back injury. McIlroy finished in fourth place, while Woods tied for 17th.
“It’s awfully impressive,” McIlroy said of Spieth’s major win. “It’s great to see, great for the game, and I’m sure there will be many more.”
Spieth Was Second Choice at Many Sportsbooks
Heading into the tournament, Spieth was one of the betting favorites at sportsbooks. For most bookmakers, McIlroy carried the lowest odds, with the Westgate SuperBook posting the world’s top golfer at 6-1 odds.
But Spieth was the joint second choice at 10-1 (alongside Bubba Watson), and was a very popular bet in the run-up to the tournament.
By the last day of the Masters, when Spieth came into the final round with a four-shot lead, Spieth had become an overwhelming favorite to win the title.
At Bovada, bettors had to put up $3 for every $1 they wanted to win if they backed Spieth, while the two men closest to the leader offered much longer odds: Mickelson was at 6-1, while Rose was 9-2 to catch the leader.
The win has made Spieth virtually a co-favorite with McIlroy to win the next major on golf’s calendar: the US Open, which will be held in June.
Many sportsbooks still have McIlroy as a favorite, offering odds of around 5-1, while Spieth is the second choice at 8-1.
Fans of Tiger can still back him at around 15-1; other favorites include Adam Scott, Dustin Johnson, Jason Day and Justin Rose.