PALM HARBOR, Fla. – One year ago this week, Jordan Spieth knew exactly what he needed.
Fresh off a T-2 finish at the Puerto Rico Open, the youngster had to finish in at least a two-way tie for 13th place at Innisbrook to clinch PGA Tour special temporary membership for the year. He finished T-7 and the rest, as they say, is history. Spieth won later that summer at the John Deere Classic, reached the Tour Championship and competed for the victorious U.S. side at the Presidents Cup.
Back at the Valspar Championship this week, Spieth relived the final round from a year ago.
“I love this place, excited to be back,” he said Wednesday. “It’s a special place for me, a place I’m very comfortable. I really feel like the course fits my game well.”
Spieth also believes none of last year’s success – the victory, the Tour Championship berth, the Presidents Cup win – might have taken place without first locking up his PGA Tour card here.
“I was looking at the boards and grinding it out and so the last three holes on Sunday here were three of the biggest holes I played all last year. I mean, none of the rest of it possibly would have happened if I wasn’t able to hole a flop shot on 17 and get up and down out of the front bunker on 18. I made a 6-footer that I gave more fist pumps than I did at the Deere.”