Tides are Changing for Jordan Spieth
Is Jordan Spieth back?
The answer is no.
He hasn’t won yet, so we can’t say he is back.
No one said that Tiger Woods was back until he broke through at East Lake, so it is only fair to use that same meter here.
But, what is clear, is that the tides are changing for Spieth.
“It’s not mental. I’m as confident as I’ve been in a long time. Not only the current outlook but also looking forward. So it’s still mechanics. It’s still dragging on,” said Spieth on Sunday night at Pebble Beach.
Spieth finished in a tie for third at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am on Sunday after starting the final round with a two shot lead.
Last week, he finished fourth at the Waste Management Phoenix Open after opening the final round in a tie for the lead.
“If I look back at Friday night of San Diego [Torrey Pines] and you tell me I was going to share the 54 and have the 54-hole lead two weeks in a row and really just fight, finish strong to both weeks, I would have said you’re crazy, to be honest. I was not in a great head space following that missed cut there and just did some really phenomenal work from Sunday through Wednesday of last week that was probably the best period of a few days of work that I’ve put in in a long time,” added Spieth.
Prior to the last two weeks, the three-time major champion was trying to fight and climb his way out of a deep dark abyss.
It has been over 1,300 days and counting since Spieth’s last win, at the 2017 British Open.
And, while he did sneak in a T4 at The Masters in 2018 and one or two other high finishes, most of those days, Spieth was nowhere to be found.
Missing cuts, hitting wayward shots that not even he could recover from,
Spieth missed the cut at the Safeway Open in September, missed the cut at the U.S. Open after shooting a final round 81, then T38 and T41 at the CJ Cup and Zozo Championship, before missing the cut again at the Vivint Houston Open.
He finished T46 at The Masters and then missed the cut at the Farmers Insurance Open.
Then suddenly, there was light in that abyss in Phoenix, and then again at Pebble.
Grabbing the lead at both tournaments, rekindling some of that Spieth magic that golf fans are used to seeing – the long birdie bombs at Phoenix, the two hole outs at Pebble.
However, both tournaments also proved that there is still work to be done.
Talking about his final round at Pebble, Spieth provided this analysis:
“Just because I’m leading the golf tournament doesn’t mean that all things are great. I didn’t feel as good over the ball today as I did in the back nine yesterday, to be honest. And that’s going to happen. I just didn’t quite have a great groove early in the round to where I could trust some of the shots that I wanted to hit, like a draw into 5. I just didn’t have quite have the level of trust I wanted knowing that I wasn’t positioning the club the right way, so I overcooked it and I made bogey, or 6 where I just don’t hit it left when I’m trying to hit it left. It’s stuff that, I mean, I’m legitimately going around with maybe my B game and I know that stepping on the first tee.
And being in the lead by two, that’s, it can be, you can look at it both ways. It’s pretty awesome that I feel that I’m still significantly far off of where I want to be and am able to be leading the tournament through 54. But at the same time, it’s very difficult to go out knowing that you don’t have your best stuff and to go out there with my own expectation that I’m going to win today.
So that’s kind of the battle going into the day and I just hope that I continue to progress like this to where I can stand on that first tee as confident as I historically have been and where everything’s at to where I can go out and play boring golf and just hit a bunch of greens and make it a really easy 18 holes to win a golf tournament.”
Next up for Spieth
Spieth is playing next week at the Genesis Invitational at Riviera.
“As I go into next week at arguably my favorite golf course in the world, at Riviera, I look to have more swings that I know are getting into position, hitting the spots I know that I can kind of turn and burn from than I had this week,” Spieth said, concluding his press conference.
Jordan Spieth is not back yet, but the tides are changing.