AUGUSTA, Ga. – Jordan Spieth shot 76-71 to miss the cut at the Valspar Championship three short weeks ago and was nearly in a panic over the state of his game.
“It was almost just a little bit of impatience, a little bit of desire and wanting it to be back so quickly,” Spieth said Tuesday at Augusta National.
Spieth didn’t do much during the offseason for the first time in his career. Not because of choice, because he didn’t feel well. So instead of preparing for his first two PGA Tour events in Hawaii he rested and figured he’d shake the rust off while playing.
“All these other guys are playing so well and I’m paired with them, and for whatever reason I’m just not able to do what they’re able to do right now,” he said.
The results weren’t even bad, they just weren’t Spieth-like; Seven of nine starts ended in the top 20 and he missed two cuts.
It was the second missed cut, the one at Valspar while playing with Tiger Woods, that nearly sent Spieth into a tailspin.
“I just don’t shoot 5 over very often, I only shoot 5 over and you’re like ‘what the heck happened,’” Spieth said.
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Spieth checked his posture, diligently worked on alignment and played much better at the WGC-Match Play even though he failed to advance out of pool play, losing to Patrick Reed.
For the next five days, until the first round of the Houston Open last week, Spieth continued to grind, looked at pictures of his setup, compared it with previous years, worked on his putting stroke. He tied for third place last week in Houston, led the field in strokes gained: tee to green and suddenly feels like he’s ready to contend for another green jacket.
“I made big strides in the last two weeks to get from kind of a panic place to a very calm, collected and confident place,” he said. “It’s difficult to do in two weeks. Sometimes it takes years. I feel like I’ve been able to speed that process up a lot of the last couple weeks.
“I feel like I should have a chance to win this week. But if I don’t, it’s coming soon. And that’s exciting for me.”