'Calm, collected, and confident' Jordan Spieth emerges from 'panic place' to be ready for Masters

Sport360 staff 10:53 05/04/2018
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Jordan Spieth believes it is a case of panic over as he targets a second Masters title and the fourth major championship of his career.

Spieth has been far from his best this season and reached a low point, particularly with his putting, with an opening 76 – while playing alongside Tiger Woods – in the Valspar Championship last month.

The 23-year-old went on to miss the cut and failed to get beyond the group stages in the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, but bounced back to finish third in the Houston Open in his native Texas on Sunday.

“I made big strides in the last two weeks to get from kind of a panic place to a very calm, collected and confident place,” the 2015 Masters champion said.

“It’s difficult to do in two weeks. Sometimes it takes years. And I feel like I’ve been able to speed that process up a lot over the last couple of weeks.

“I feel better coming into this week than I did in 2016 and 2014 where I came off of missed cuts in Houston. There’s a lot to be said of the previous week’s momentum and being able to work my way into contention and hit some putts under pressure that I felt.

“I didn’t do a lot of scoreboard watching. I kind of pretended like I was tied for the lead even though I figured I was a stroke or two back. I kind of wanted that ‘You need to make this’ feeling and I started to really roll some putts in under the gun.

“My iron play and off the tee has been fantastic, just like it was last year. It’s just been about finding the [putting] set-up that I had for a couple of years that I kind of got a little stiff and away from recently.

“Settling into that from round one here will be important, but I feel like last week was a tremendous stepping stone in the right direction.”

Spieth has finished a remarkable second, first, second and 11th in his four Masters appearances and will also have the chance to complete the career grand slam by winning the US PGA at Bellerive in August.

“It’s not been the greatest start to the year of any that I’ve had,” the world number four added. “But I kind of look at it in thirds. You get 10 or a dozen events before the Masters, then the Masters through to the US Open is the next third, and then you get the last two majors and the FedEx Cup play-offs in the last third.

“I feel good about my game, I feel like I should have a chance to win this week. But if I don’t, it’s coming soon and that’s exciting for me.”

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