It was a case of deja vu all over again for the American. Here's the story of how Jordan Spieth's Augusta National demons reappeared
There are two reasons sport’s fans all over the world bookmark US Masters week as a must watch tournament. That is, the perfect blend of beauty and cruelty. At Augusta National the line between triumph and disaster is finer than anywhere on planet golf. Jordan Spieth, a man who a little over 12 months ago, seemed oblivious to it’s danger now seems embroiled in his own personal battle with golf’s finest landscape. This is the story of how Jordan Spieth’s Augusta demons reappeared.
Heading into the final round, the American was lurking just three off the lead. Having come back from making a 9 on the 15th hole of his opening round, Spieth’s presence on the leaderboard was ominous. Many knowledgable punters were looking no further than the 2015 Champ. The only question mark was this – were there any lingering demons from 2016 and how would he face up to the unique pressure?
So what happened to Jordan Spieth? His long game was no more than 10% off during the final round but that lead to three bogeys on a two over par front nine. He was teetering on the break but as he walked down the hill from the 10th tee, his chances were still alive. Just.
What happened next followed a familiar pattern. Another bogey at 10 was followed by a solid par at the incredibly difficult 11th. Then he faced his nemesis, the 12th, returning to the scene of the crime 12 months earlier.
The Texan had previously told the media of how he’d returned to Augusta in December to play with friends and in the process had exorcised some of the demons surrounding this beautifully dangerous 12th hole. However, as he stood there on Masters Sunday, he hit almost the same tee shot of a year ago. The ball drifted on the breeze and ended in Rae’s Creek. Coincidence? Hardly.
Once again, Amen Corner had ended Spieth’s challenge.
In the post round press conference, the assembled media skipped around the subject but the uncomfortable truth is that doubts surrounding the 23 year-old’s ability to finish the job at Augusta will travel with him again next year. He has quickly accrued a painful bank of memories that will be increasingly hard to overcome.
That this should happen to a man who had seemed so mentally strong is evidence of the brutality of the Augusta challenge.