Jordan Spieth is back in familiar territory. Dubbed his “favourite tournament,” Spieth consistently speaks highly of The Masters and Augusta National, the amphitheater where his golfing career blossomed. But unlike the previous appearances, the three-time major champion is flying under the radar. With his overall game at a critical juncture, Spieth is eager to get back into contention at a major championship.
“I feel great about the state of my game right now,” Spieth said. “I’ve made a lot of strides in the last couple days in the tee‑to‑green game, really just off the tee, my long game, which has been the only separation from being able to win golf tournaments over the last month or so.”
Spieth Enters Masters with Zero Tournament Wins This Season
Measuring on Jordan Spieth standards, not winning a tournament since the 2017 Open Championship is extremely disappointing and frustrating. Given how quickly he accelerated up to World No. 1, achieving three major championships and a FedEx Cup along the way, the fall to 33rd is surprising. Spieth has been working with his coach, Cameron McCormick, on a dramatic swing change, in order to increase consistency. But changing a facet of one’s game takes time. While Spieth has demonstrated glimpses of greatness in his opening rounds, the weekend stretch has shown the golfing superstar fall short of expectations this season.
While his putting has improved in the 2019 season, Spieth’s driving off the tee has let him down consistently. He is ranked 203rd in Strokes Gained: Off The Tee (-.695), 212th in driving accuracy (47.02 percent) and 82nd in Strokes Gained: Around The Green (.095). His best result in 2019 was at the Valero Texas Open, the penultimate tournament before The Masters, where he finished T-30th. Despite zero top-10 finishes, Spieth believes that coming in as an underdog allows him to solely focus on playing stellar golf, rather than conquering the expectations placed on him.
“Seeing the longevity of the career and how you do go through up-and-down,” Spieth said, “and everybody does. And it’s how quickly can you climb out of the lows and how high can you go for the highs, and that’s the goal.”
Spieth & Augusta Are The Perfect Match
Jordan Spieth’s relationship with Augusta National epitomizes the trajectory of a golfer’s career. The jubilation of winning, the sorrowful depths of giving up a five shot lead, and everything in between.
“I feel like I’ve had a career’s worth of golf just at five events,” stated Spieth.
While playing cards in their Augusta residence Monday evening, Jordan and his family would watch the re run of his historic 2015 Masters win on TV, where he tied Tiger Woods’ 1997 Masters record-setting total four-round score (270). The game fired on all cylinders that week for Spieth, utilizing his creativity by hitting stellar shots. And his putting was top notch, finishing the tournament at 18-under par. Reliving the victory this week leading up to the 2019 Masters was important motivation for Spieth.
“I was kind of commentating to my team, the people that were around me on some of it,” said Spieth, “and it was very memorable because it was the highest of highs I’ve had in this sport.”
Of any player on the PGA Tour, Spieth has the best scoring average in at least 20 rounds at Augusta, with a score of 70.05. Not only can he showcase his talent in the lead, but Spieth proved that he could take advantage of Augusta’s set up to rally from behind. A year ago, entering the final round nine strokes back, Spieth would fire a 64, which included achieving a birdie on his feared par-3 12th. While he would lose to eventual champion Patrick Reed, Spieth’s ability to send roars throughout the patrons, only fuels his desire to secure his second Green Jacket of his career.
The Masters Comes at a Perfect Time for Jordan Spieth
For Spieth, there is no turning back to the changes to his game. He is embracing it and believes that success is not far from the distant future. One golfer who is confident in him is Spieth’s best friend and former PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas.
“He’s going to play well this week. I really do think that,” said Thomas.
What’s at stake for Spieth is a fourth major championship in his grasp. With four majors at the age of 25, this would make him on the same pace as 18-time major winner Jack Nicklaus. But more importantly, it is a tremendous opportunity for Spieth to surprise the golfing world, getting back to the form that dazzled and amazed all of us in 2015.
Don’t put it past the 25 year old to make more history at The Masters.