Comparing Jordan Spieth's 2015 Masters to Tiger's 1997 performance

Devil Ball Golf

At 21 years old, Jordan Spieth just completed one of the best Masters ever played. He's now the second-youngest Masters champion in history, just behind Tiger Woods, who was the youngest ever when he won in 1997. 

Of course, it's natural to compare the two efforts.

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Spieth set or matched a number of records en route to his first major title, eclipsing several of Woods' '97 records in the process.

Bubba Watson puts the traditional green jacket on compatriot Jordan Spieth. (REUTERS)
Bubba Watson puts the traditional green jacket on compatriot Jordan Spieth. (REUTERS)

The Texan shot 14-under 130 for the first two rounds to take over the 36-hole scoring record from Ray Floyd.

His 16-under 200 mark through 54 holes also took down a record set by Floyd and matched by Woods in 1997.

With a bogey on the 72nd hole, Spieth matched Woods' 18-under 270 record from 18 years ago.

The new Masters champion became the first wire-to-wire green jacket winner -- with no ties -- since Floyd's then-record-shattering 1976 tournament. That's right, Woods didn't have the first-round lead in '97. He opened in 40 and closed in 30 to shoot and opening 2-under 70 to sit three shots behind John Huston. (Remember him?)

While Woods and Spieth both wound up shooting 270, Woods never reached 19 under par. Spieth did that, on the 15th hole on Sunday, only to cede that with a final bogey. Spieth also set the tournament record for most birdies with 28, overtaking Phil Mickelson's former mark of 25 in 2010.

However, Spieth won by just four shots. Woods won by 12. Spieth beat guys who had won majors in the last 24 months, in Mickelson and Justin Rose. Woods beat 1992 U.S. Open champion Tom Kite, followed by Tommy Tolles and Tom Watson.

So who was best? It's hard to say, especially considering Augusta National has been lengthened and changed several times since 1997. But Woods' effort in '97 probably still has the edge. Only 16 players were under part that year, as opposed to 32 this year, and none in '97 were even close to Tiger.

Simply, the course played a lot tougher against everyone in the field but Woods in '97, which wasn't necesarily the case this year, when a total of five players finished at least 11-under par.

Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.

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