Jordan Spieth has revealed his recent poor record at The Players Championship has been a result of being too aggressive and not patient enough for the exacting test presented by TPC Sawgrass.
Four years ago, Spieth, at the tender age of 20, found himself in a tie for the lead heading into the final round of the PGA Tour's flagship event of the season, only to falter on the Sunday with a 74 to finish tied fourth.
Since then, Spieth has endured three straight missed cuts. In his first 58 of the Players, he was 14-under par and bogey free. Since then he's a combined 10-over par for 122 holes.
“I think just being a little forceful,” Spieth said Tuesday.
“A good example would be like on No. 1 out here, pin is front left. If you're not in the fairway you can't get anywhere near the hole. I'll miss it in the left rough and try and land it on that tier right next to the hole. I'll either short side myself in that bunker … and just kind of situations like that where, say the patience side I seemed to display at Augusta is, OK, I'm out of position, what's the plan to make my par and move on.
“Out here I just, the last couple years, I just haven't had that patience. I haven't approached it like I approach the major-championship caliber golf.”
Patience hasn’t exactly been a virtue this year, either. Spieth has four top-10s in 10 starts but it wasn’t until last month in Houston that he worked his way into contention, shooting a final-round 66 to tie for third.
A week later, he put together a spectacular final-round 64 at Augusta National to nearly chase down eventual Masters champ Patrick Reed.
As for the Players, Spieth is hoping to capture the same kind of attention that he has when it comes to majors. Even though the Players isn’t one, the course demands as much.
“The first year I played here, I almost won it, and so I just kind of assumed that it would come easy to me,” said Spieth, who is coming into the tournament of the back of consecutive top-three finishes.
“I kind of looked at the last few years and just kind of came in thinking, Oh, if I miss it in a tough spot I'll get up-and-down. Historically that's happened, but historically now that hasn't happened. I'm ready to kind of get back on that first-year path but doing it the right way.”