SOUTHPORT, England – Jordan Spieth said it plan and simple: “Today took as much out of me as any day that I’ve ever played golf.”
There are many reasons why, many of them obvious, especially when you’re Spieth and trying to capture your first claret jug and third leg of the career Grand Slam.
But the added pressure of the 2016 Masters collapse – where he made a quadruple-bogey 7 on the par-3 12th hole Sunday – was weighing heavily on his mind. Capture this major and questions of the Masters would fade to black. Lose this major, questions would come fast and furious for the foreseeable future.
“I thought winning a few weeks later in Ft. Worth was huge, but I knew that another major would be the one thing that would, I think, just completely (put me) over the hill,” Spieth said, with claret jug in hand. “I’m capable of closing these majors out.”
The way the round started, with bogeys on Nos. 1, 3, 4 and 9, was ominous. Many thought a Spieth victory was a done deal, instead a three-shot lead had completely vanished in nine holes.
“I wasn’t questioning myself as a closer, but I was questioning why I couldn’t just perform the shots that I was before,” he said. “I was just as nervous yesterday during the round, and I knew the conditions were harder, but I just wasn’t executing.
“During the round today I definitely thought while any kind of fear or advantage that you can have in this moment over other individuals, not just Matt Kuchar today, but other people that are watching, that’s being taken away by the way that I’m playing right now. And that was really tough to swallow. That kind of stuff goes through your head.
“But closing today was extremely important for the way I look at myself.”