Spieth returns to old driver, 3-wood at Mayakoba
‘It’s been totally different the last couple days for me here.’
November 07, 2018
By Cameron Morfit, PGATOUR.COM
Inside the PGA TOUR
Mayakoba Golf Classic preview
PLAYA DEL CARMEN, Mexico – Last week’s Shriners Hospitals for Children Open was a disappointment for Jordan Spieth, who was making his first U.S. fall start. After carding an opening 66, he struggled with a new driver and 3-wood, and finished T55.
That was then.
Making his first visit to the Riviera Maya for the Mayakoba Golf Classic this week, Spieth, the 2015 FedExCup champion, has gone back to the driver, 3-wood he’d played for the last five years. And it’s gone so well, he said, Vegas is a distant memory.
“It’s way more positive than that,” Spieth said after his pro-am round on the El Camaleon Golf Course at Mayakoba on Wednesday. “Last week I just, I was looking at something different, and the performance just wasn’t coming out the same. It’s been totally different the last couple days for me here. I’ve been striking the ball extremely well, hitting a lot of the fairways, and the short game has been just—trying to improve a little bit more.
“The ball-striking is as good as it’s been in quite a while,” he added. “It’s just the short game I need to dial in a little bit.”
One of the best barometers for Spieth, as with many players, is his putting. After carrying him to 11 victories before the age of 25, it suddenly fell off for much of last year. He said he likes the paspalum grass at Mayakoba, which bodes well in his struggle for form.
That said, Spieth rightly pointed out that getting to the greens in the first place is no picnic. The course is tighter off the tees than he expected; beautiful but narrow.
“You’ve got to keep it in between the beacons,” he said.
In other words, the old driver and 3-wood could be huge.
“I feel like he’s going to drive the ball well this week, which is needed around here,” said Rickie Fowler, who played a practice round with Spieth on Tuesday.
Spieth is trying to rebound from a winless 2017-18 season, when he finished 31st in the FedExCup and missed the TOUR Championship. Meanwhile, he’ll soon wed longtime girlfriend Annie Verret, who is back in Dallas, doing wedding planning, leaving Spieth single until the arrival of his parents here later this week.
Not that Spieth isn’t doing a little planning himself. Speaking at a Monday fundraiser for the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Dallas, he said he’d kicked out his housemates, including TOUR rookie Kramer Hickok, a former teammate at Texas, in preparation for married life.
Asked if Mayakoba would mark his last start as a single guy, Spieth laughed.
“Yeah, I guess it is,” he said. “Yeah, not much will change. I’m just excited to be here. It’s pretty awesome here, as you know. I mean, I get the afternoon on the beach.”