How Jordan Spieth’s Augusta demons reappeared

How Jordan Spieth’s Augusta demons reappeared

It was a case of deja vu all over again for the American. Here's the story of how Jordan Spieth's Augusta National demons reappeared

There are two reasons sport’s fans all over the world bookmark US Masters week as a must watch tournament. That is, the perfect blend of beauty and cruelty. At Augusta National the line between triumph and disaster is finer than anywhere on planet golf. Jordan Spieth, a man who a little over 12 months ago, seemed oblivious to it’s danger now seems embroiled in his own personal battle with golf’s finest landscape. This is the story of how Jordan Spieth's Augusta demons reappeared.

Heading into the final round, the American was lurking just three off the lead. Having come back from making a 9 on the 15th hole of his opening round, Spieth’s presence on the leaderboard was ominous. Many knowledgable punters were looking no further than the 2015 Champ. The only question mark was this - were there any lingering demons from 2016 and how would he face up to the unique pressure?

So what happened to Jordan Spieth? His long game was no more than 10% off during the final round but that lead to three bogeys on a two over par front nine. He was teetering on the break but as he walked down the hill from the 10th tee, his chances were still alive. Just.

What happened next followed a familiar pattern. Another bogey at 10 was followed by a solid par at the incredibly difficult 11th. Then he faced his nemesis, the 12th, returning to the scene of the crime 12 months earlier.

The Texan had previously told the media of how he’d returned to Augusta in December to play with friends and in the process had exorcised some of the demons surrounding this beautifully dangerous 12th hole. However, as he stood there on Masters Sunday, he hit almost the same tee shot of a year ago. The ball drifted on the breeze and ended in Rae’s Creek. Coincidence? Hardly.

Once again, Amen Corner had ended Spieth’s challenge.

Related: 74th time lucky. How Sergio Garcia won the 2017 US Masters

In the post round press conference, the assembled media skipped around the subject but the uncomfortable truth is that doubts surrounding the 23 year-old’s ability to finish the job at Augusta will travel with him again next year. He has quickly accrued a painful bank of memories that will be increasingly hard to overcome.

US Masters 2017 Leaderboard

That this should happen to a man who had seemed so mentally strong is evidence of the brutality of the Augusta challenge.

Neil Tappin
Digital Editor

In his current role, Neil is responsible for testing drivers and golf balls. Having been a part of the Golf Monthly team for over 15 years and playing off a handicap of 3, he has the experience to compare performance between models, brands and generations. For 2022 he thinks the main trend in drivers is: "In a word, consistency. Whilst all the brands are talking about ball speed (and the new drivers are certainly long), my biggest finding has been how much more consistent the ball flights are. Mishits don't seem to be causing the same level of drop-off or increase in the spin numbers. This means that more shots seem to be flying the way you want them to!" As far as golf balls are concerned the biggest development is in the, "three piece, non-Tour, urethane-covered section. For regular golfers, these models offer superb performance at both ends of the bag without denting your wallet quite as much as the premium Tour-played options."

Originally working with the best coaches in the UK to produce instruction content, he is now the brand's Digital Editor and covers everything from Tour player interviews to gear reviews. In his time at Golf Monthly, he has covered equipment launches that date back well over a decade. He clearly remembers the launch of the Callaway and Nike square drivers as well as the white TaylorMade driver families, such as the RocketBallz! If you take a look at the Golf Monthly YouTube channel, you'll see his equipment videos dating back over a decade! He has also conducted 'What's In The Bag' interviews with many of the game's best players like Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm. Over the years, Neil has tested a vast array of products in each category and at drastically different price-points. 

Neil is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade Stealth Plus Fairway Wood: Titleist TSR2 Hybrid: Titleist TS3 Irons (4-9): Mizuno JPX 919 Forged Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 46˚, 50˚, 54˚, 60˚ Putter: Odyssey Triple Track Ten Ball: Titleist Pro V1X