Jordan Spieth fired a final round six-under par 66 to claim his first Tour title in 1,351 days at the Valero Texas Open.
The 27-year old’s victory at San Antonio is his first since winning The 2017 Open Championship, seeing him join a list of five players in the last 40 years to have reached 12 wins before turning 28: Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas and Spieth.
“I feel grateful,” said Spieth. “I feel it kind of bounces off and on right now when it hits me that I’m back in the winner’s circle. It’s been a road that’s had a lot of tough days. I’ve had people in my corner that have always believed in me even when I’ve kind of believed less in myself.
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“I just feel a lot of gratitude to those who have helped me get back here. My wife has been just a rock to me. This is my first win since we’ve been married, so it’s been progressing this way since maybe December. Before that, there was a lot of tough times. When you’re struggling at work, you try not to bring it home and that kind of stuff.
“I’m very grateful for the people that I have around me. I’m blessed with a great family who’s always just looking out for my best interests. I’ve got an amazing team and I get put in position and I’ve got full trust in everyone that’s on my side that they’re going to be the best at what they do and I’ve just got to go out and feel the freedom to go enjoy playing golf.”
With playing partner Charley Hoffman breathing down Spieth’s neck with a 66 of his own on Sunday, the Texan, who admitted to struggling with his own swing over the weekend, was able to trust his process to reach the clubhouse at 18-under par, two clear of Hoffman in a testament to just how far his mental toughness has come over the past six months.
“I really didn’t have great control of the ball this weekend at all,” Spieth added. “When I would have really maybe started to freak out and change swing feels, instead I stuck to my guns and said what I’m doing is the right thing, let’s just try and figure out what we’ve got.
“Do we have a shot that we can play? How are we going to step into this next one confidently? Let’s play some Bubba shots if we need to, some bigger turners one way or the other to just establish some feel in the game and get away from kind of the technical side when the technical side doesn’t feel great.
“That’s been a learning process over the last kind of few Sundays in contention when you get a little anxious and you’re a little tighter and you’re not kind of swinging as freely. I thought today just that lightness stayed about me the whole day.
“Even when Charley kept throwing birdies at me, I was able to kind of just say, all right, if we hit it to point A here, we 2 Tee-Scripts.com hit it to point B here, put a good stroke on it here, we’re going to get this job done. We’re in the lead, we’re in control. I’ve done really well in my career in closing with the lead.
“The extra nerves today were just in not wanting to have to sit there and have it be a few times in year and that monkey on my back that continues to be there that I don’t feel myself, because when I’m in contention, I feel a lot of positivity.
“But it’s sometimes difficult to kind of separate that from the expectations when you step in an interview room and you’re supposed to win all the time. For me, it’s been about throwing out results and instead work on freedom. If I’m feeling freedom out there, I’m loving what I do and if I love what I do, I’m going to do it well.”
As for Ireland’s competing stars, Graeme McDowell signed off with a disappointing two-over par round of 74 to finish in a tie for 54th at even par, three shots better than Padraig Harrington who was looking forward to heading home after a final round 73 saw him finishing just inside the top-70 at plus-three.
Full scoring HERE