Winning majors is tiring. Just ask Tiger Woods or Rory McIlroy. The stress of hanging onto the lead in a major championship is like that of leading the Daytona 500 or serving out a Wimbledon final. Jordan Spieth wasn’t just rusty in his first round at the John Deere Classic, he appeared mentally exhausted and at times, angry. Can he get himself fresh in time for the Open.
It seemed for every good shot Jordan Spieth hit at the John Deere Classic, a bad one soon followed. Spieth’s opening round 71 left him a distant eight shots back of leaders Justin Thomas and Nicholas Thompson. Thursday’s round was Spite’s first since winning the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay just two weeks ago.
Those that were in Illinois to witness Spite’s round couldn’t help but notice the fatigue that was beginning to show on the young man’s face. He had three bogeys in a four-hole stretch and missed an easy putt on 18 that would have put him under par.
“You could see the toll this year has taken on him,” remarked one fan.
“While Spieth was giving 100% and smiling and waving to the crowd, the boy looked tired, almost devoid of the fire that we often see in his eyes,” Jerry said, a 35 year old man who had traveled up to the tournament from Florida.
At one point in the round, cracks in Spieth’s mental state boiled to a head when he punched a table after missing a short birdie putt. Even Spieth – who is one of the calmest players on tour – couldn’t hide the pressure that has creeped up on him so quickly since winning the Masters and then the U.S. Open in succession.
Spieth is one of five golfers in the current top 20 of the Fed Ex Cup standings who committed to play in the Quad Cities. Many have criticized Spieth for potentially jeopardizing his Grand Slam push by playing in a tournament that has never attracted a top quality list of players. Spieth disagreed.