Spieth no longer haunted by his Masters meltdown

Jordan Spieth, who missed the cut at the Houston Open in his final start before the Masters, wants to put all questions about his collapse at Augusta last year to bed.
Jordan Spieth, who missed the cut at the Houston Open in his final start before the Masters, wants to put all questions about his collapse at Augusta last year to bed.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

AUGUSTA (Georgia) • Jordan Spieth says he is over last year's Masters meltdown, where a final-round collapse wrecked his dream of being the first back-to-back green jacket winner since 2002.

But the acid test of the American golfer's recovery comes this week at Augusta National, 12 months after the implosion which saw him blow a five-stroke lead with nine holes to play, to hand England's Danny Willett the title.

"We won in Colonial three starts later so as far as affecting me on course when I'm in a tournament, I think that answer is clear, it doesn't do that," said the world No. 6.

"As far as just having all the questions be done, I'm pretty sure they will be."

Spieth, the 2015 Masters and US Open winner, faces bad memories similar to those that haunt other Major champions, including Rory McIlroy, who can complete a career Grand Slam with a Masters victory.

McIlroy appeared set to claim his first Major title at Augusta National back in 2011, leading by four shots as the last round began.

Instead, he fired an eight-over 80, an off-target shocker off the 10th tee that hit a tree heralding a back-nine disaster as Charl Schwartzel took the title.

But the Northern Ireland star bounced back to win his next Major start, taking the US Open at Congressional two months later by eight strokes with a tournament-record low score.

"I still get questioned about the back nine at Augusta in 2011," he said.

"It's just something you have to deal with. It's something that happened.

"It's not going to go away. It's there and it always will be."

Regarding Spieth, McIlroy notes "no matter what happens this year, those questions will still be there and linger a little bit", but the US star can feel better having won the 2015 Masters.

"When he opens his wardrobe and already sees a green jacket in there, I'm sure he can console himself," McIlroy said.

"It happens. Everyone has had tough losses where things haven't gone their way and it's just about getting back up on the horse and getting after it again.

"I think once Jordan gets past the 12th hole in the first round this year, it will be over and done with."

The world No. 2 was referring to the par-three hole which saw Spieth post a quadruple-bogey last year.

"Same thing with me, once I got past the 10th hole in 2012 and the first round, it was me, I was done. I looked over, I saw where I hit it, I had a bit of a laugh and then that was it," he said. "And it's done, it's over, you move forward and you don't think about it again."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 03, 2017, with the headline 'Spieth no longer haunted by his Masters meltdown'. Print Edition | Subscribe