Spieth promises not to dwell on missed cut
February 19, 2016
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
- Jordan Spieth lines up a putt on the eighth hole during round two of the Northern Trust Open. (Harry How/Getty Images)
PACIFIC PALISADES, Calif. – Jordan Spieth noticed that Rory McIlroy considers this week’s Northern Trust Open as the beginning of his ramp-up to the season’s first major at Augusta National.
McIlroy is firmly in the mix at Riviera. Spieth, meanwhile, is headed home after 36 holes.
“This was not my start to the run at the Masters,” the world’s top-ranked player and defending Masters champ said with a grin. “Mine will start the next time.”
That next time will be in two weeks at the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship. Spieth will have plenty of time to prepare after missing the cut at Riviera.
He will at least leave with a more positive vibe after his 3-under 68 in Friday’s second round. His eight birdies were his most holes under par in a given round since the third round at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, in which he romped to victory.
“Normally another strong suit for me is birdie count per round,” Spieth said. “That was good to see. It’s good to see some of those mid-range putts start to do what they’ve been doing for awhile now.”
But it wasn’t enough to offset the unexpected 8-over 79 he shot Thursday -- the worst opening round of his young PGA TOUR career. The missed cut is his first on TOUR since the Deutsche Bank Championship last fall and just the eighth since the start of the 2014.I’m not going to let this one get to me very much.
Caddie Michael Greller also reinforced to Spieth that he shouldn’t make a big deal about the missed cut. Greller mentioned how Spieth has bounced back with solid results in the few times he has missed cuts.
Last year, Spieth followed a missed cut at Torrey Pines with a T7 at Pebble Beach. He followed a missed cut at THE PLAYERS Championship with a T2 at Colonial. He did suffer back-to-back missed cuts to start the FedExCup Playoffs, but then bounced back to finish T13 at the BMW Championship before winning the FedExCup at the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola.
In his 11 missed cuts since 2013, Spieth has followed with six top-10 finishes, albeit none as a tournament winner.
“We rebounded in perfect form last year on just about every missed cut,” Spieth said. “We’ll be fine.”
Jordan Spieth rolls in third consecutive birdie at Northern Trust
Spieth thought he might even rebound fast enough Friday to avoid missing the cut at Riviera. In fact, he didn’t check out of his hotel despite the 79 leaving him with long odds to stay the weekend.
Four consecutive birdies in the middle of his round gave him brief hope, but he followed with bogeys on three of his next five holes.
“Same thing as yesterday,” Spieth said. “Just some sloppy iron play.”
So now he’ll put the clubs away for a few days, and then come back with an increased workload on the range. The Florida Swing beckons and Augusta National is less than two months away. Time to ramp up.
“I’ve been trying to rest and maybe not practice as much as I normally would to kind of conserve energy,” Spieth said. “It kind of showed. I just need to be out there on the range a little bit more than I have been leading up to events … In order to really feel like I’m gearing up and I’m ready for the Masters come April, I’m going to need to start ramping up that ball count.”