After blowing the 2016 Masters with a calamitous seven at the short 12th, the tortured Texan carded a nine at the birdieable long 15th.
Another catastrophic splashdown after spinning his approach shot to the 15th back into the drink led him to unravel. He then dropped and hit his fifth over the green. He nearly chipped into the water and three-putted for the quadruple bogey.
“You think of it as a birdie hole with it being a par five and unfortunately I still thought of it as a birdie hole today. It really isn’t,” said Spieth.
Jordan Spieth carded a nine on the 15th
Spieth finished three-over par
“I struck the shot well, I just hit the wrong club. I used a club that would spin instead of one that would maybe take the spin off and it kind of bit me a little bit.
“I obviously wasn’t going to hit it in the water again so I just went over the green – you don’t have much depth there – and from there it’s very difficult. I just didn’t take my medicine.” One of Spieth’s many attributes is his ability to bounce back in a round if something goes wrong. Bogey is remarkably often followed by birdie. He even managed one after his quadruple bogey yesterday.
But, despite another fine par save at the last, he will need resurrection on a much grander scale to contend at this Masters after another hole from hell left him signing for a three-over par 75.
“I think I learned a lot about the golf course today and the expectation for where to take advantage and where not to,” said the 23-year-old.
Masters 2017: Dustin Johnson withdraws from tournament
Thu, April 6, 2017
Click to reveal the first snaps as Dustin Johnson withdraws from the Masters 2017
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Click for the first snaps as Dustin Johnson withdraws from the Masters 2017
“It looks something like single digits under par might win this tournament and I certainly can post single digits under par at this point. I’ve got three rounds to go.” The fact remains though the last ten Masters champions have all been in the top ten after the first round and Spieth is well adrift of that.
And to think Spieth thought he hard work had been done when he walked away from the 12th, as dry as a Dales stone wall, with a rock-solid par.
The anxiety was obvious at that point. Spieth is a deliberate player but when the green cleared after a stressful five-minute wait, he was out of his blocks and up to the ball. Quickly, he retreated back to his bag to wipe his sweaty palm on his towel and then came the moment of truth. Up, up and away his ball went. It never, for a second, was going to be short.
As it clung onto the back right of the green to set up a straightforward two-putt, Spieth let slip a half-smile and a ‘wow’ and a huge reception from the relieved stand.
A mental hurdle had been cleared. Or so it appeared.
Spieth’s record at Augusta is extraordinary – second, first and second in his three appearances – but he will be hard-pressed to continue that sequence this week.