AUGUSTA, Ga. – Seven months in the past, on the U.S. Open at punishing Winged Foot in New York, Jordan Spieth was misplaced.
“Standing on a tee at the U.S. Open and not exactly knowing where the ball is going to go is not a great feeling,” Spieth stated earlier than he missed the lower, his third consecutive begin by which he didn’t make the weekend. “But I’ll grind it out. I don’t ever give up. I have no reason to.”
On Monday, he arrived at Augusta National Golf Club as one of many favorites to win the Masters.
Spieth is again to doing Spieth things again as he ended a baffling winless drought of 1,351 days and 82 PGA Tour begins with a two-shot victory Sunday within the Valero Texas Open, his first title since capturing the Claret Jug on the 2017 Open Championship.
The former No. 1 on this planet, who fell to 92nd earlier this 12 months, is 38th with a bullet, the primary time he’s been again within the high 50 in additional than a 12 months.
The victory within the Lone Star State was his 12th PGA Tour win and positioned him in some fairly good firm. He joined Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas as the one gamers to win 12 or extra Tour titles earlier than turning 28.
With his confidence mounting, Spieth is now strolling a bit taller on a few of his most cherished floor, the place he gained the Masters among the many Georgia Pines in 2015, completed runner-up in 2014 and 2016 and completed third in 2018.
And he’s a greater man for having gone via probably the most tough stretch of his profession, a time that crystalized his perspective, humbled him to the core and examined each affected person bone in his 27-year-old physique as he at instances banged balls on the vary till his arms bled.
Despite the rocky terrain the previous 4 years, he stayed the course and stored his group by his aspect as he regarded for solutions inside as a substitute of trying to find the answer with a brand new set of individuals in tow.
“I needed to look back and take responsibility,” Spieth stated Monday at Augusta National. “For me it was taking ownership. I believe in my team. They have proven themselves to be the best in the world, and how can we all get a little bit better through this and what steps are we going to take forward to be able to feel this momentum together as we start to make progress in the right direction and then believing that that’s happening.”
His highway began handing over a greater path after he missed the lower within the Farmers Insurance Open in January. He shared the 54-hole lead the following week on the Waste Management Phoenix Open earlier than tying for fourth, held the 54-hole lead the next week on the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am earlier than tying for third.
After a tie for 15th within the Genesis Invitational, he tied for fourth within the Arnold Palmer Invitational. He additionally made it to weekend play on the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play earlier than profitable Valero.
Spieth, nevertheless, wasn’t as emotional as he anticipated when he knocked within the one-footer to shine off his victory in Texas. To him, it felt like outdated instances again.
“I thought I would have the memories of the downs and the struggles and the climb back and really the progress and the momentum over the last few months, all that kind of hit me, and it just kind of was like, I have a one‑footer to win,” Spieth stated. “I was happy that it didn’t hit me that hard; that it felt more normal, that it felt like me and that’s where I’m supposed to be, and this is who I am.”
But Spieth is hardly happy.
“I just feel like there’s quite a few things that I still need to really improve on and get better,” he stated. “There are times and ways that I can take a step forward and feel better and produce better golf shots consistently and produce better strokes, and it was pretty awesome when I look back and think there’s a next level that I’ve been at that I’m still searching for right now.
“I like the progress that I’m making. I don’t feel that I have the control of all facets of my game that I want to have yet, but I feel like I’m working the right direction.”