A ‘grateful’ Jordan Spieth ended his slump — just in time for the Masters

Jordan Spieth pumps his fist after winning the Valero Texas Open.

Jordan Spieth pumps his fist after winning the Valero Texas Open on Sunday.

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Jordan Spieth went to one word first: Grateful. For his victory, for the people who stood by him, for his family, for his wife. One of golf’s biggest stars had a lot of people to thank following his victory at the Valero Texas Open, which ended a nearly four-year winless drought.

His wife, Annie, he says, was instrumental.

“It’s been a road that’s had a lot of tough days,” Spieth said in his winner’s press conference on Sunday in San Antonio, where he closed with a 66 to beat Charley Hoffman by two. “I’ve had people in my corner that have always believed in me, even when I’ve kind of believed less in myself. I just feel a lot of gratitude to those who have helped me kind of get back here. My wife has been just a rock to me. This is my first win since we’ve been married, so it’s been progressing this way since maybe December. Before that, there was a lot of tough times. When you’re struggling at work, you try not to bring it home and that kind of stuff. I’m very grateful for the people that I have around me. I’m blessed with a great family who’s always just looking out for my best interests. I’ve got an amazing team and I get put in position and I’ve got full trust in everyone that’s on my side that they’re going to be the best at what they do and I’ve just got to go out and feel the freedom to go enjoy playing golf.”

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The win was Spieth’s 12th of his PGA Tour career. He entered the day tied with Matt Wallace but pulled away around the turn and held off Hoffman, who also shot 66, down the stretch.

After tapping in for par on 18 and doing a quick TV hit, Spieth saw Annie walking toward him.

“She got me emotional there on 18, seeing her emotional running up,” Spieth he said. “I mean, I can pinpoint a number of different moments where I’ve been in a bad place and then I can picture some moments where I’ve been just talking so positively to her coming home and having her just help progress that forward. She’s just given me a lot of space. I’ve asked, I’ve said, look, I’m going to have to put some long hours in, even longer than when you’ve known me before. This is what I want right now. We don’t have a family yet and I really want to get back to playing consistent golf and just being me and playing with freedom.

“She’s just been that person that said whatever you need to do, I’m here to support you, let me now how I can help, let me know when too much is too much, let me know when it’s not enough. She’s been really unbelievable.”

Spieth, whose previous win came at the 2017 Open Championship over Matt Kuchar, had been trending in the right direction the last few months. After a couple of years of unSpieth-like results, his turnaround — at least, based on leaderboards — started in Phoenix. He held the 54-hole lead at both the Waste Management Phoenix Open and AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and finished T4 and T3, respectively. In the four tournaments since, leading up to the Texas Open, he was worse than T15 just once.

It’s a good time to trend, too. Now he’s headed to Augusta National, where he’s never missed the cut in seven Masters starts, has a win (2015), two 2nds and a 3rd.

“I mean, in-form is probably the most important kind of phrase in our professional sport,” Spieth said. “I felt in-form for a little while now.”

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