Spieth ready to return after Masters meltdown
World No. 2 already looking ahead to US Open defence
J ordan Spieth understands his meltdown at the end of the Masters will follow him and three weeks on from his Augusta agony, he’s not quite ready to say he’s over blowing a fiveshot lead in an ugly final round collapse.
“I’m not taking it very hard,” said Spieth ahead of a practice round at Oakmont where he will try to defend his US Open title next month.
“I’ve got ladies at the grocery stores putting their hand on me and going, ‘Really praying for you; how are you doing?’ I’m like, ‘My dog didn’t die. I’ll be OK. I’ll survive’.”
That’s how surprised everybody was with his final round fall. Last season that kind of thing didn’t happen during the 22-yearold’s sprint to the top of the world rankings, a dash that included a pair of major championships and a reputation as one of the game’s steadiest players. Yet in the span of 30 minutes during the final round at Augusta, that aura disappeared. A bogey at 10. Another at 11. That seemingly endless sequence on 12 where he hit the ball into Rae’s Creek not once but twice on his way to a quadruple bogey 7 that cost him control of the tournament. “It was just bad timing on the wrong hole,” he said. “And you know, it is what it is, and I’ll move on. If you’re in contention at a major, hopefully 50plus times in your career, something like that is bound to happen. Just don’t let it happen again.” Spieth endured the uncomfortable post-round ceremony with Danny Willett, whose brilliant closing 5-under- par 67 will be forever tied with the way Spieth let it slip away.
Spieth admitted “this one will hurt” in the aftermath and he’s spent the last few weeks trying to decompress and get ready for the daunting test that awaits at Oakmont.
“Our team can draw on the wins, and that’s what we’re going to do,” added Spieth. “We’ve now had a chance to win coming down the stretch in six majors and we’ve won two of them, including the last five and 2014 Masters.
“So that’s still a pretty good percentage. Considering my age, and hopefully with continued good health and continued improved play, if we keep that percentage up, we’ll be all right.”