AUGUSTA, Ga. – Jordan Spieth is in contention at the Masters for the fourth consecutive year, an amazing feat for a man who already has one green jacket at just 23 years old.
Following a third-round 68 that moved Spieth to within two shots of the lead heading into Sunday, he was asked why he believes his game meshes so well with the hallowed grounds at Augusta National.
“I’m not sure,” he said. “I guess the golf course was Tiger-proofed at one point. You can’t really Jordan-proof it. I don’t overpower it. I don’t hit – my fairways hit are 55 percent. That’s not very good. These are wide fairways.
“So to answer your question, I would say, first of all, hitting greens in regulation, I thought we’ve done a great job of – especially yesterday afternoon in the conditions, I hit maybe 15 of them.
“It’s just been positioning: playing the golf course the way that it’s supposed to be played to where par could be your worst score, giving myself short par putts. So it’s really just kind of thinking around it an using a bit of experience.”
Tiger-proofing, you may recall, came after Tiger Woods obliterated Augusta National, winning three green jackets in his first six Masters appearances as a professional. The course was lengthened, rough (affectionately known as the second cut) and trees were added and instantly much more of a premium was placed on accuracy. Since those changes, Woods only won one more Masters title (2005).
Spieth has had similar success in what is now his fourth Masters. He hasn’t finished worse than second in the three previous tournaments and won here two years ago.
He’s looking to make more history on Sunday when he will be paired with Rickie Fowler in the second to last group of the day. Spieth was 10 shots back after the first round. Only Harry Vardon in the 1898 Open Championship has come back to win after trailing by double digits after 18 holes. Spieth is also looking to become the first ever player to win the Masters while recording a score worse than 7. He made a quadruple-bogey 9 on the par-5 15th hole during the opening round.