Is history in Jordan Spieth's favor today?

Jordan Spieth
USA Today Sports Images
A victory at Augusta National today would make Jordan Spieth the youngest champion in Masters history.
By T.J. Auclair
PGA.com
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Series: Golf Buzz

Published: Sunday, April 13, 2014 | 12:29 p.m.

On the surface, suggesting that history is in Jordan Spieth's favor today at the Masters seems preposterous. 

After all, only three players before him have won the Masters in their first attempt -- Horton Smith in 1934 (the first Masters), Gene Sarazen in 1935 and Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979.

But, that's not the history we're talking about for Spieth, tied for the 54-hole lead at 5 under with 2012 Masters champ Bubba Watson. The kind we're talking about has to do with age. With a victory today, Spieth would become the youngest winner in Masters history.

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How is age in his favor then?

Consider this: Jack Nicklaus became the youngest Masters champion in 1963 when he won at the age of 23 years, 2 months, and 17 days.

Seventeen years after that, Seve Ballesteros supplanted Nicklaus as the youngest champion in Masters history at 23 years and 4 days old when he won the 1980 tournament.

Seventeen years after that, Tiger Woods overtook Ballesteros as the youngest Masters champ in 1997 at the ago of 21 years, 3 months and 14 days old.

Spieth is 20 right now and doesn't turn 21 until July 27. If he were to win at Augusta National today, that would make him a full five months younger than Woods was when he won in 1997... you guessed it, 17 years ago.

Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.

 

T.J. Auclair is a Senior Interactive Producer for PGA.com and has covered professional golf since 1998, traveling to over 60 major championships. You can follow him on Twitter, @tjauclair.