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Spieth considers Match Play loss valuable experience

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SHANGHAI, CHINA - NOVEMBER 08: Russell Knox of Scotland celebrates with the volunteers after winning the WGC - HSBC Champions at Sheshan International Golf Club on November 8, 2015 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)  - 

DORAL, Fla. – Two weeks ago at the WGC-Match Play Championship Jordan Spieth looked to be on cruise control, again. Through three rounds he hadn’t been pushed to the 18th hole and his confidence was high heading into his Elite Eight match against Ernie Els.

Early in that match, however, the South African holed a few crucial putts and the young PGA Tour player never recovered.

“I’m embarrassed about the way I acted on the course today. Played like the 13 year old version of myself mentally,” he tweeted after his 4-and-2 loss to Els.

On Wednesday at the WGC-Cadillac Championship, Spieth’s first start since the Match Play, he considered the loss a valuable learning experience for future Sundays on Tour.

WGC-Cadillac Championship: Articles, videos and photos

“It’s something I’ve been working on in really trying to remain neutral on the weekend,” he said. “I got into a match with Ernie and from the get go he made a couple long putts on me and it rattled me. I just didn’t handle it the way I wanted to.”

Spieth, who spent last weekend playing practice rounds at Augusta National where he will be making his first Masters start next month, said he and his instructor, Cameron McCormick, spent the last few days talking about the episode and what he should learn from it.

“It’s going to happen if I keep putting myself in position,” Spieth said. “I fell like from now on I will only improve.”