AUGUSTA, Ga. – There were many benefactors of Jordan Spieth’s disastrous meltdown.
Danny Willett, obviously, was Exhibit A. But, Exhibit B, was Lee Westwood.
Westwood was seven shots behind Spieth when Spieth was standing on the 12th tee. Moments later Spieth made quadruple-bogey 7 and Westwood was only one shot behind Willett, his playing partner and new tournament leader.
“I wasn’t really paying that much attention to it,” Westwood, 42, said of the leaderboard during the crazy back-nine swing.
Things got tight quickly when Westwood made eagle on the par-5 15th hole. Westwood has always been in the conversation as one of the best players without a major and his window to win a major nugget seems to be closing rapidly. But there he was late on Sunday at Augusta National with another chance to win at a place where he’s collected a top-10 finish in four of his previous six starts.
The turning point came on the 16th hole when Willett made birdie and Westwood made bogey. That two-shot swing gave Willett a three-shot advantage that he would hang onto until the end. Westwood shot 71-75-71-69 for a 3-under total and a tie for second with Spieth.
“I got away with a few shots,” Westwood said. “You come out and contend in the first major of the year, obviously I must be doing something right.”