Jordan Spieth said he was unprepared to speak when introduced by Augusta National chairman Billy Payne at the green jacket ceremony after winning The Masters at age 21 by tying Tiger Woods' 1997 tournament record score of 18-under par on Sunday.
But everyone in attendance, myself included, left the ceremony feeling like he was totally prepared.
Spieth, who had a poster of all The Masters' champions in his room as a kid growing up in Dallas, vowed to get "revenge on the course" after taking a 4-shot lead through 54 holes on Saturday after falling three shots short of Bubba Watson in a great duel at Augusta National last year.
On Sunday, as dusk settled in over the brilliant azaleas and Georgia pines surrounding the practice green where chairs were set up for the coronation of Augusta National's newest champion, it was Watson putting the green jacket on Spieth a year later.
"The goals now have to change," Spieth said. "This was the lifelong goal to win the greatest golf tournament in the world. But now I have to change the goals to see if I can be like Bubba (Watson) as a two-time Masters champion."
Everything Spieth has done as a golfer pointed to this moment, right down to playing a practice round with Ben Crenshaw and Crenshaw's caddie, Carl Jackson, on Wednesday. Jackson gave Spieth and Spieth's caddie, Michael Greller, numerous tips for how to manage the course during the tournament. And Spieth said it paid off tremendously.
Spieth also thanked Greller for "keeping me strong. I couldn't have done this without you."
Greller decided to leave a $68,000-per-year teaching job in 2013 to become Spieth's caddie only after his then-fiance, Ellie, told him, "You have to do it, because when [Spieth] wins The Masters, you're going to kick yourself if you're not the one on his bag."
On Sunday night, Greller and wife Ellie were whisked away on their own golf cart, right behind Spieth after the green jacket ceremony, arm-in-arm, beaming ear-to-ear, obviously elated with their career choices.
Shortly after the Grellers got married, Ellie decided in 2014 to quit a teaching job, too, to support her husband on the road as Greller caddied for the man who will rise to No. 2 in the world golf rankings on Monday. Spieth has now won three times on the PGA Tour and five times worldwide. In the last 12 months, he has four wins and eight Top 10 finishes.
"It wasn't an easy decision," Ellie Greller said at the time of quitting her kindergarten teaching job at Artondale Elementary in Gig Harbor, Washington.
But it was clearly the right decision. Greller earned roughly $330,000 last year as Spieth's caddie. And things are only pointed up after Spieth's first victory in a major.
At 21 years and 8 months, Spieth became the second-youngest player to win at Augusta behind only Tiger Woods, who offered Spieth some advice on the practice tee before Sunday's round, telling Spieth to trust himself when things got tough. Spieth trusted himself, and as a result, no one got closer than three shots on Sunday. His final margin of victory was 4 shots - over Phil Mickelson and Justin Rose, who tied for second at 14-under.
Spieth, who set a Masters record with 28 birdies (breaking Mickelson's record of 26), became just the fifth player ever to win a green jacket by leading the tournament from start to finish. He went 8-under in Round 1, 6-under in Round 2, 2-under in Round 3 and 2-under in Round 4. He also became the first player ever to reach 19-under par at The Masters before a bogey on the 72nd and final hole.
Fans repeatedly yelled "Hook'Em!" and "Longhorns!" throughout his four rounds. Spieth’s win was the first by a former Texas player in a major championship since Justin Leonard won The Open Championship in 1997.
Spieth joins Ben Crenshaw as the only Texas alum to have won the Masters (Crenshaw did so twice – 1984 and 1995). Spieth becomes the fifth former Texas player to win a major championship (Crenshaw, Tom Kite, Justin Leonard and Mark Brooks).
"What we do is incredibly stressful. There's a reason I have this hairline," Spieth joked about his thinning hair.
But Spieth made history in every round of this year's Masters. He became the youngest-ever, first-round leader. Spieth's 36-hole total of 14-under par broke a 39-year-old record set by Raymond Floyd in 1976, and his 54-hole total of 16 under also set a new Masters' record. Spieth's birdies' record (28) and ability to reach 19-under on Sunday gave him more history in the final round.
When Spieth said the goals now have to change, after winning The Masters, it was a message to the rest of the golf world that the former Texas Longhorns national champion, has much bigger plans.
Woods was 5 months younger than Spieth when Woods won his first major at The Masters in 1997 at 21 years, 3 months and 14 days. Tiger went on to win 13 more majors.
No one is ready to say Spieth could approach anything close to Tiger's career. But somewhere in the back of Spieth's mind, he's probably making Tiger's accomplishments one of his new goals.