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Jordan Spieth distances himself from Masters collapse on No. 12

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Tiger Woods reflects on how special it was to play the Par 3 contest with his children at the Masters.
USA TODAY Sports

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Jordan Spieth stepped to the tee of the 12th hole at Augusta National Golf Club on Tuesday, took back his 8-iron and sent his golf ball toward the distant flag.

The shot looked brilliant from the get-go, the result equally satisfying as the ball came to rest one foot from the hole.

“I really could have used that one about 12 months ago,” Spieth said with a smile to the massive gallery behind him.

Significant laughter broke out and whistled through the Georgia pines around the heart of Amen Corner. Spieth bounded off the tee toward the flagstick 155 yards away, crouched down into the familiar putting stance of Arnold Palmer, and tapped in for birdie.

It was the latest illustration of Spieth distancing himself from the final round of the 2016 Masters, when the hole they call Golden Bell rung his bell.

MORE GOLF:

Spieth was defending his 2015 title and took a five-shot lead to the back nine on Sunday. But after bogeys on the 10th and 11th, he dumped two balls into Rae’s Creek, made quadruple-bogey 7 and lost his lead. Spieth rebounded with birdies on two of his next three holes and had a putt on the 16th to get within one shot, but he couldn’t fully undo the damage.

Instead of joining Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo and Tiger Woods as the only players to win back-to-back Masters, Spieth slipped the green jacket onto Danny Willett’s back as is the custom for the defending champion.

Spieth admirably stood tall…

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