Jordan Spieth shot 69 on Friday – an improvement of seven strokes from his opening-round 76. Still, at 1-over par 145, he finished two strokes shy of the cut line at the PLAYERS.
The missed-weekend marked the third (in eight starts) on the 2019 season for Spieth. Even more troubling, in the five events where he’s finished in the money, the 25-year old Texan hasn’t produced anything better than a T35. His other four finishes include T55 (Shriners), T45 (Pebble), T51 (Genesis) and T54 (in the no-cut/64-player Mexico event).
Jordan Spieth’s 2019 Season
MC – The PLAYERS Championship
54 – WGC-Mexico Championship
51 – Genesis Open
45 – AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am
35 – Farmers Insurance Open
MC – Sony Open in Hawaii
MC – Mayakoba Golf Classic
55 – Shriners Hospitals Open
Following his latest flame-out, Spieth was asked about the state of his once unassailable game.
Per usual, he responded with a lot of happy-talk that bordered on sounding delusional.
“I putted extremely well, proud of the fight today. Putting’s back. It’s very close to being top of the world again,” said Spieth, who a day earlier shot a 4-over 76.
“So I know exactly how to get there, which is good news. And then as far as the full swing goes, it’s just going to require more repetitions.”
Sound familiar? It should.
Here’s Spieth after missing the cut at the Sony Open in Hawaii two months ago:
“Today was a good day. I was very pleased with the fight today… So I’m in a good space given what happened.”
And here’s more spin following a T35 at Torrey Pines:
“So I’m in a good place right now. I feel like my game’s trending the right direction.”
In his last 20 starts – going back to the PLAYERS Championship in May 2018, Spieth has posted just a single top-10 finish (2018 British Open), and even that left a foul taste, as he’d blown the 54-hole lead, and barely held on to a top-10 spot with a final-round 76.
Currently ranked 25th in the world, Spieth is projected to land somewhere around 31-33 on Sunday night. It will mark the first time he’s appeared outside the top-30 since Labor Day 2013, when the then young phenom – fresh off his first Tour win at the John Deere as a 19-year old, moved from No. 33 to No. 28 following a top-5 finish at the Deutsche Bank Championship in Boston.
Prior to his current funk, Spieth was considered the most consistent elite player in the world, ranked in the OWGR top-10 for 1,452 consecutive weeks – the longest active streak at the time – a span in which he compiled 13 additional worldwide wins, highlighted by three major titles.
But since his iconic Open Championship victory at Carnoustie, in late July 2017, Spieth has been shutout of the winner’s circle.
The 38 consecutive starts without a victory is the longest dryspell of his career. At peak Spieth – 14 months from late 2014 (Australian Open, Hero World) to early 2016 (Kapalua), he made 30 worldwide starts, and won eight times – averaging a trophy every 3.75 starts, including a pair of majors. He also took home a ninth trophy as the FedExCup champion.
Spieth will attempt to break his current slump in two weeks at the WGC-Match Play in Austin. Despite his recent poor form, the three-time major winner remains confident with an eye on Augusta, Georgia.
“I’m just looking for progress heading into Augusta, and then do what we do there,” he said, referring to his safe space of the Masters, where in five career starts he’s finished: 3rd, 11th, 2nd, 1st, 2nd. “I should be able to do enough over the next week to be ready for Austin, let alone Augusta.”