Spieth birdied 12 on trip to Augusta ... twice


KAPALUA, Hawaii – Each December, Jordan Spieth takes a trip to Augusta National and spends a couple days playing with various members, friends and big wigs from his biggest sponsors.

This year, he knew the trip would have a whole different vibe than year’s past. Those playing with him knew it too.

The par-3 12th hole; It would be the first time he played it since, well, you know, his Sunday meltdown at the Masters that resulted in two water balls and a quadruple-bogey 7. Standing on the tee that day he had one arm firmly planted in a second consecutive green jacket ... and it was gone in an instant.

There was revenge to be had.

The first time Spieth hit 8-iron to 15 feet and made the putt.

“I was pumped to hit the green, and then I hit my putt and it just about stopped short on the front lip and fell in for 2,” Spieth said Wednesday at Kapalua. “I probably gave like a big fist pump. I was walking around with my hands up, like ‘demon’s gone.’”

The next day he hit 9-iron to a left pin and nearly jarred the damn thing. He had a kick-in birdie.

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It was from the member’s tees, Spieth was quick to point out, but that didn’t diminish the accomplishment.

“So I got two 2s out of No. 12 the first time back,” he said. “Last two times I played the hole, I made birdie.”

While standing on the 12th tee the first time, there was a funny moment, Spieth said. He admitted he was nervous, and everyone knew what was going on, but no one wanted to say a peep.

Spieth stepped up and broke the ice, saying, “Guys, we have some demons to get rid of here, I’d appreciate if y’all stood to the side of the tee box while I do my work here. That was cool.”

One of the first calls Spieth made afterward was to his caddie Michael Greller. And Spieth has already talked to Augusta National chairman Billy Payne to see if there is footage of both of his birdies, “because somebody was watching, I’m sure, when that happened.”

Even though Spieth’s year begins this week at the SBS Tournament of Champions, a place where he blitzed the field by eight-shots last year, he’s not afraid to keep one eye on the Masters three months away.

“Certainly right now our focus is right on the Masters and doing what we can ahead of time in order to prepare for it,” he said.