Nicklaus backs 'wonderful' Spieth to bounce back


Jack Nicklaus sent his well wishes to Jordan Spieth after the world number two's dramatic collapse at the Masters.

Spieth fell apart on the back nine at Augusta on Sunday, a quadruple bogey on the par-three 12th costly as he gave up a five-shot lead in his title defence.

Nicklaus, a record 18-time major winner, backed the 22-year-old to bounce back after his dreadful finish led to Danny Willett winning the green jacket.

"I think the whole golfing world feels for Jordan Spieth," he wrote on Twitter.

"He had a chance to do something truly special and something very few have done before - and be the youngest to accomplish that [defend his Masters title] - and he just didn't pull through.

"My heart goes out to him for what happened, but I know that Jordan is a young man who will certainly learn from this experience and there will be some good that comes out of this for him.

"He's a wonderful talent and a wonderful young man."

Nicklaus was also full of praise for Willett, who carded a five-under 67 in the final round to win his first major by three shots.

The 76-year-old said he was unsurprised by what the English world number nine had managed to achieve.

"I've watched Danny Willett play on television a few times and when I've seen him swing the golf club, I have thought, 'Well, this young man looks like he's a pretty darn good player,'" Nicklaus wrote.

"He had moved himself up to 12th in the world, so he's obviously done something right and was playing very good golf coming into Augusta.

"What impressed me so much is that when he realised he was in a position to win, he finished it - and that's the mark of a champion: To finish a good round; give yourself an opportunity to win; and when the other fellow doesn't finish, you've got to be there. Danny Willett was and kudos to him.

"What an amazing couple of weeks for him - from becoming a new father to becoming the latest Masters winner. My congratulations go to Danny for what he did."

Nick Faldo, the only other Englishman to win the Masters, also lauded his countryman.