Spieth seeks to improve mental game
The former No. 1 misses consecutive cuts for the first time in his career
September 05, 2015
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
- After two rounds, Jordan Spieth totaled five birdies and 11 bogeys en route to a 6-over 148 at TPC Boston. (Keyur Khamar/PGA TOUR)
NORTON, Mass. -- Jordan Spieth called it a bad dream.
When he woke up, he was headed home.
Spieth shot 73 Saturday at TPC Boston to end his week at over to miss the cut by three at the Deutsche Bank Championship. It’s the first time that Spieth has missed back-to-back cuts in his young career.
“I'm hitting the ball as well as I was in the PGA, as well as I was at The Open (Championship),” Spieth said. “I have control of the golf ball just fine. For whatever reason I'm not scoring. Today was my putter. (Thursday) was my irons -- my distance control from the fairways. Just not everything is exact and fine tuned like it has been this whole year.”
The last time Spieth recorded four consecutive rounds over par prior to Saturday was in 2013, his rookie year on TOUR, when he five straight rounds in the mid-70s at The Open at Muirfield and PGA Championship at Oak Hill.
Saturday, he didn’t even record a birdie until his final hole. By then, it was too late.
Jordan Spieth holes his first birdie of Round 2 on No. 18 at Deutsche Bank
“I've done a lot of things I've never done positively this year,” said the 22-year-old two-time major champion who reached No. 1 in the world two weeks ago before losing the top spot a week ago. “This is something I've never done that's negative.
“Normally my mental game is my strength and it's something I feel like I have an advantage over other players on. These past two weeks it was a weakness for me. And I've just got to go back and reassess how to remain positive. Just look at today, I caught a lot of bad breaks. I hit a lot of good shots that hit the numbers we wanted to and they either bounded over the green or they just ended up in tough spots. At the end I had to kind of press. And when I missed two fairways it wasn't the time to press, so that led to two bogeys, and I couldn't come back from there.”
A day after hitting all but two fairways, Spieth hit just six in the second round. He also lost nearly 3 1/2 strokes to the field on the greens and for a second straight day finished with 33 putts.
Still, Spieth was hovering inside the cut most of the day until back-to-back bogeys on Nos. 13 and 14. He missed the green long on both approach shots then failed to make putts from 6 and 8 feet.
The final nail came on 17 when Spieth missed the fairway left and three-putted from 30 feet for bogey.
“It looked like he was just uncomfortable, made some mental errors, and felt like he was behind the 8-ball a little bit and kind of pushed it a little bit,” said Jason Day, who played alongside Spieth each of the last two weeks. “But who knows what's going through his head. It’s difficult to say what he’s feeling, what he’s going through emotionally because it is a lot of pressure for a 22-year-old. It’s very, very hard to reach that No. 1 position and hold it there.”
There’s a chance Spieth could move back to No. 1 depending what happens over the next two days at TPC Boston, but the extra time off might not be such a bad thing.
With an off week in the Playoffs coming up, Spieth won’t play again until the BMW Championship on September 17 outside Chicago.
“It’s probably going to be good for me to take at least four days and not touch a club,” Spieth said. “Nothing is different. Again, I don’t feel it’s far off, even though my score is far off.
“I had really bad self-talk this week, something I haven’t experienced in quite a while. Maybe heightened by just everything that’s happened this year, and just being so used to being in contention, that not only was I out of it but I was also outside the cut line. And maybe it just heightened my self-talk. I need to walk with some cockiness in my step these next two tournaments. That’s going to be a big stage.”