What occurred to Jordan Spieth? How golf’s subsequent massive factor descended into paralysis by evaluation
“Go get that,” Jordan Spieth shouted, ordering his caddie, Michael Greller, to select up the ball that had simply dived into the cup from 48 toes. It was a show of such prodigious nerve, or “moxie” as his fellow Texans would possibly name it, that his three-word instruction on Royal Birkdale’s fifteenth inexperienced would quickly be emblazoned on his followers’ baseball caps, marking the second he wrapped up his first Open title. On that drizzly Southport night in 2017, he was, at 23, the youngest participant in historical past to carry three majors and 11 tour victories. By far probably the most arresting statistic, although, is that he has not received once more since. Yearly since his Augusta debut in 2014, the place he tied for second behind Bubba Watson, Spieth has been a fixture of the Masters’ build-up, analysing the vagaries of the course with precocious authority. This time, he isn’t even included on the interview schedule, regardless of successful in 2015 and ending inside the highest three on 4 of his six begins. The boy king who turned world No 1 in solely his third season on the PGA Tour finds himself 81st within the standings, his rating falling sooner than the Zoom share value on the day an efficient Covid-19 vaccine is confirmed. It’s a capricious mistress, fame. One second Birkdale’s autograph-hunters are falling over ropes to glad-hand you, the subsequent the match the place you’ve gotten loved the best success is attempting to ease you gently into the shadows. In equity, Augusta will be sure that Spieth has his share of privileges this week, as he takes his place at Tiger Woods’ desk for the champions’ dinner on Tuesday and slips again into the inexperienced jacket that hardly left his aspect after his triumph 5 years in the past. The jacket is way too massive for him, since he by no means had it tailor-made. Alas, his billing as golf’s subsequent phenomenon – consistent with his standing as solely the second man to win three completely different majors earlier than the age of 24, the opposite being Jack Nicklaus – has additionally proved more and more tough to put on.