Masters: Jordan Spieth adds another chapter in golf’s best comeback story this season

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Jordan Spieth ran out of gas on the first nine Sunday at Augusta National Golf Club.

Having won the Valero Texas Open one week ago to snap his three-year winless streak, Spieth didn’t have enough in the tank to mount a comeback. He closed with a respectable final-round of 2-under 70 to share third place, but a sluggish start did him in.

“I’m tired,” Spieth conceded after the round. “I felt some mental fatigue for sure and made a couple bonehead mistakes over the weekend, just from, I think, maybe the long stretch.”

Spieth, the winner of the 2015 Masters, recorded his fifth top-3 finish at Augusta National and added another chapter in golf’s best comeback story this season. To hear Spieth tell it, there is work still to be done to retooling the golf swing that won three majors between 2015 and 2017.

“I’ve made a lot of good progress, but I feel like that road ahead is still significant for me,” he said.

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How far off is open to debate as Spieth led the field in greens in regulation, hitting 56 of 72 greens. Despite a couple of chip ins during the tournament, Spieth only got up and down eight times, and mentioned a poor chip at the eighth hole Sunday that left him a 17-foot birdie putt as the only shot on the front nine that stuck in his craw.

“I wish that I had the control of my swing that I hope is coming or I think is coming soon because it would have made things a little easier this week,” Spieth said. “Structurally, it’s still not matching up where I want it to, and I feel like I’m doing a significant movement to try and get there. I still have a little bit of the old tendencies, but I get it in a better striking position, with the wrists in a better place, the club face and the shaft plane in a much better place, which is why I’m able to come out and contend.”

Spieth began the final round trailing Hideki Matsuyama by six strokes, so it would have taken a special day like the 8-under 64 who shot in 2018 to give Patrick Reed a scare.

But Spieth caught a flier on the first hole and putting from the back fringe, he couldn’t get up and down. He recovered the stroke with a birdie at 2, but back-to-back bogeys at Nos. 5 and 6 dropped him to 3 under and eight behind Matsuyama.

While he bounced back with five birdies before a closing bogey, Spieth could ill afford to make three bogeys in his first six holes.

Jordan Spieth
Jordan Spieth

Jordan Spieth lines up his putt on the 18th green during the final round of the 2021 Masters Tournament. (Photo: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports)

The highlight of Spieth’s round had to be his approach from 211 yards at the par-4 10th hole, which caught a slope and stopped 4 feet from the hole. In holing the short birdie putt, Spieth became the first player to birdie the 10th hole in all four rounds. Spieth said he will take some time off and that working at home is where he can make the strides necessary to become a consistent winner again.

“It’s still a little ways to go,” he said. “It could just kind of start to click and really feel that momentum.”


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