When you win The Masters, you have not only given yourself a seat among the greatest names to ever play the game, but you get to go back and play if you so choose to. 2015 champion, Jordan Spieth exercised that privilege in December of 2016 with one goal in mind: to birdie the 12th hole.
It was on that 12th hole which separated Spieth from back-to-back Green Jackets in 2015 and 2016. A then 22-year-old Spieth was struggling on Amen Corner after he bogeyed holes 10 and 11 – he was four under on the front nine.
Spieth would score a quadruple bogey after putting two balls in the water, a very uncharacteristic thing to do for the young golfer who seemed so poised just a year before.
The three-time major champion appeared on the Dan Patrick show to discuss the pilgrimage he took to golf’s holy grounds eight months after his collapse at 12.
“It was a practice round,” Spieth told Patrick. “We had two groups out at Augusta…this was early December. We went down 11 and we’re coming up and you can see the 12th tee box. And the last time I was there was The Masters.
“I got on the tee and I could feel the nerves. You know, I shouldn’t feel nervous but I felt it because I knew when I got there I had one mission in that trip…that was to get up there, knock it on the green, and make the putt.”
So was Spieth successful or did his nerves get the best of him?
“I hit it over the bunker and had about 15 feet [to the hole]. I hit the putt and it just barely fell over the front edge [of the cup]. It was almost like ‘there’s the good break we got’. Now we’re back on track.”
“I asked the guys in my group: ‘you know what I did last time I played 12 at Augusta?’….’I made a two’. The next day I actually almost made a one. It landed right behind [the hole] and sucked back and kind of lipped out and went to right about there (Spieth showing with his hands he had about three feet left to putt).
“Not exactly the same situation, but it was nice to get there and see a couple good shots.”
This interview with Patrick took place in February of 2017, just a few months before the Masters this past April. Spieth shot even-par on the first three days of this year’s tournament before committing a five in the final round.
Overall, the 2017 Masters was not Spieth’s greatest performance, especially since he found himself behind the 8-ball early on, shooting a 75 on day one. His Open Championship win did confirm that the old ‘Jordan Spieth’ (the 21-year-old phenom) is still relevant. That and the fact that he is leading the FedEx Cup playoffs with two events remaining.
Spieth has the rest of his career to win another Green Jacket. And if these FedEx Cup playoffs are any indication, we should be seeing the trio of Justin Thomas, Spieth, and Dustin Johnson in the top five of the four major championships for the next decade or so.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) September 5, 2017