Spieth isn’t the first star to unravel under pressure

Palmer did it. Michael Jordan did it. Mo Rivera did it, too. In the World Series, no less.
Jordan Spieth waits to putt on the 18th hole during the final round of The Masters Sunday.
Jordan Spieth waits to putt on the 18th hole during the final round of The Masters Sunday.

Palmer did it.

Michael Jordan did it.

Mo Rivera did it, too. In the World Series, no less.

So did Greg Norman. The difference is he never truly recovered after blowing a six-stroke lead on Masters Sunday in 1996.

The truth is, even legends choke, just as Jordan Spieth shockingly did Sunday at the Masters, turning a coronation and an historic back-to-back win into a stunning defeat.

But his major meltdown — going bogey, bogey, then an immortal quadruple bogey on the par-3 12 — will not define the 22-year-old’s career.

It’s how he responds that will shape how we view

Spieth going forward, and looking back years from now.

His two-in-the-drink will be the big story going into the next major and the next Masters no matter what happens, to be sure. You don’t suffer a collapse like that, especially when poised to become the first golfer ever to win back-to-back Masters while holding the lead in every round, and not have to relive every agonizing detail.

But if Spieth goes on to win another major this year, and is winning going into next year, the body blow suffered by this epic failure will not be as acute.

And if Spieth goes on to continued success in the years ahead, well, this blemish could actually be a skewed mark of honor on his career scorecard, an adversity overcome en route to greatness.

The best of athletes often end up failing at some point on the biggest of stages, if only because their greatness often puts them in the position of being in the spotlight. Their failures are magnified only because of the venue, and their talent: You can’t say a .210 hitter “choked” by striking out in a key situation, just as me chunking a wedge into the water hardly generates groans. Or, at this point, even a sigh.

Given what we know about Spieth and his makeup thus far, this is not a career crippler. Think of it as you do Rory McIlroy’s implosion in 2011, when his final round 80 at the Masters dropped him from first four shots ahead to 15th.

That round wounded. It did not maim, nor has it defined.

Nor will this Sunday define Spieth. It happens to the best of them.


Expect UAlbany senior and three-time America East Player of the Year Shereesha Richards’ name to be called when the WNBA holds its draft Thursday at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut.

She would be the first former Great Dane to play in the WNBA. Richards will almost assuredly be drafted.

The WNBA draft consists of three rounds of 12 picks each. Mock drafts have Richards, who will not be attending the draft, being selected somewhere in the second round.

UConn center Breanna Stewart, the two-time Wooden Award winner, is the consensus pick to go No. 1 to the Seattle Storm.

The first round of the draft will air starting at 7 p.m. on ESPN2. The second and third rounds will air starting at 8 p.m. on ESPNU.


Dear Mets fans:

Check the calendar.

It’s not October.

This is also not the NFL.

It’s April baseball. Relax.

Although they look pretty bad.

That is all.


The NCAA is calling a time out on the football bowl madness, declaring a three-year moratorium on any new bowl games. Three new cities were vying for games this year.

In 2011, a similar ban was put in place. When it was lifted, the expected happened: An explosion of new games, six in all, debuted, bringing the number of postseason games to 41 — counting the College Football Playoff. Even 5-7 teams were invited because there were not enough dance partners.

When 63 percent of the 128 FBS teams get to go on to a bowl game, that is inching perilously close to participation trophy territory.

Personally, I like the glut of bowl games, in the sense that I’m pretty confident I will find a game on TV any day of the week from mid-December until the second week in January. But there is a threshold of absurdity that can’t be crossed, and college football is at its doorstep.

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