Jordan Spieth still isn’t over his ‘annoying’ Masters, but the PGA is a good start
Despite everything, Jordan Spieth has changed for the better in 2022.
Despite the victories. Despite the struggles. Despite the wonky range videos, the circus shots, the putting y*ps, the audible self-talk and the Greller-isms.
Spieth insists this much is true, and even a changed Jordan Spieth hasn’t lost an ounce of earnestness. And so despite everything you’ve heard, it’s time to start believing him when he says things are better now than ever.
Despite even the Masters, where Spieth missed the cut for the first time in his professional career, reigniting an entire corner of Internet subculture around his supposed “back-ness.” It was a decidedly out-of-character MC from the 2015 Masters champ who’s found his form at Augusta National even when his game was at his worst.
After a 72/76 to start the week, Spieth missed the weekend by one at Augusta after an 18th-hole double-bogey sunk his tournament chances. He elected not to speak with media that day, presumably annoyed by the way his tournament chances exploded.
On Wednesday at the PGA Championship, more than a month later, Spieth admitted to media that he was annoyed on that Friday evening at the Masters in April. In fact, he said, he still is.
“It was annoying. Because Friday’s round, I shot 76, and I can’t tell you that I missed a golf shot,” Spieth said. “It was bizarre. You know, we had tough conditions. I had mud balls at bad times, wind gusts at bad times. I felt like it was random, and therefore, it was really frustrating.”
It’s one thing to miss a cut, Spieth reasons, but it’s another thing entirely to miss a cut without ever hitting a bad shot.
Worse yet, with a strange weather week wreaking havoc on the leaderboard, Spieth knew he was a made-cut away from having a legit chance at contending on the weekend.
“All you had to do that week was make the cut, and then you could have made a run on Saturday when it was cold,” Spieth said. “I just really didn’t feel like I did much wrong, and I’ve had weeks like that before. You just hope that they’re not the Masters.”
There is, however, a silver lining dressing this two-decker toadstool and sauerkraut sandwich. In the same moment where his critics professed that Spieth was unchanged from years’ past, the three-time major champ found quite the opposite.
“The old me — a few years ago — may have tried to go back to the drawing board and said, ‘how do I fix this, what do I need to change?’ Spieth said. “But instead I went out on Sunday, decided I didn’t want to watch the final round, and went and played golf over in Hilton Head. I just wanted to keep pushing what I was pushing because I just think my level of patience with my game is far superior than where it was a few years ago.”
At the PGA Championship, Spieth will have a chance to test that patience at a setup many people are saying could play perfectly into the strengths of his game. It’s a massive opportunity for Spieth, who can close out the grand slam with a victory at Southern Hills. It’s also a massive opportunity to prove his new mindset can bring with it old results.
That’s the funny thing about golf: it’s the outcome that matters. Despite everything else.