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.
Furthermore, if Spieth can hang on today, he would also become just the second golfer under the age of 20 to win a stroke play professional major in the last 100 years.
The first was John McDermott at 19 years, 10 months and 14 days in the 1911 U.S. Open at Chicago Golf Club.
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.
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- Jordan Spieth
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