AVONDALE, La. – Jordan Spieth wasn’t the only player in the final group who stumbled on Masters Sunday.
Smylie Kaufman, a 24-year-old rookie playing in just his second major, shot 81 during the final round to plummet from second place to a tie for 29th.
“I didn’t feel like I played that bad,” he said Wednesday at the Zurich Classic, where he is making his first appearance since Augusta. “For some reason I just couldn’t get the ball in the hole that day.”
Kaufman, who won earlier this season in Vegas, said he didn’t need long to get over the disappointment. He described it as a “fluke” and said he learned about how to handle the pressure and the nerves by watching his fellow playing competitor that day, Jordan Spieth. Last week, they went on vacation together in the Bahamas, along with Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas.
“I’ve proven that I can play good on hard golf courses,” Kaufman said, “so that fourth round, I’ll just flush it down the toilet and be ready next time.”
The Zurich is somewhat of a home game for Kaufman, who graduated from LSU in 2014. He is one of five players in the field with LSU ties.