Spieth dealing with expectations, limiting social media


KAPALUA, Hawaii – Four days ago, many wondered what Jordan Spieth would do to top a spectacular 2015 campaign. He insisted that, in his mind, this is not a new season, rather a continuation of last season. The only thing different, Spieth says, is that the calendar now reads 2016.

Well, after a 30-under-par performance at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions and a dominating eight-shot victory over Patrick Reed, the expectations are as high as ever before.

“I guess accepting that is the first step,” Spieth said bluntly Sunday at Kapalua. “Just accepting that everything’s in the spotlight, everything’s going to be judged.”

Spieth certainly handled the expectations well last year after winning the first two legs of the Grand Slam and coming ever-so-close in both the Open Championship and the PGA Championship. He later went on the win the Tour Championship, the FedEx Cup and the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year.

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As successful as Spieth has been, as likable of a person as he is, as grounded as he seems to be, he still gets frustrated when he sees people lash out with unwarranted comments on social media channels.

“I struggle a bit with social media,” he said. “Trying to quiet the noise there…I’ve just gone away from looking at any comments on Instagram, Twitter. People just want to say stuff just to say stuff."

It’s something that Spieth first mentioned last September at the BMW Championship after he missed consecutive cuts at The Barclays and Deutsche Bank Championship. He believes he’s better at dealing with the external noise now, but it’s still clearly something that bothers him.

“I have as high expectations as anybody else,” he said. “So, if I’m not reaching my own, I’m going to be upset with myself. I’m not going to let other people’s expectations take the best of me.”