“I don’t feel that it changes a ton from Thursday to Sunday,” the 2015 Masters champion said of the opening tee shot. “It’s one of the only places it doesn’t for me regardless of the position I’m in. It feels like it’s a Sunday, first tee shot in contention each day.”
Jordan Spieth is at Augusta National to compete in his 10th Masters tournament, and similar to the Open Championship, has a great record here which he partly attributes to the type of questions that the golf course at Augusta National and those on the Open rotation typically ask.
“There’s a lot of similarities,” Spieth said. “There it’s more the conditions outside that force you to play a certain way and feel a different way and work a lot of different shots, and here, the slopes, you have 18 flat shots, and the rest of them are significantly different, and those are just the 18 tee shots that you hit.
“You’re kind of forced to play flights and shots versus being just technical straight line, straight ball flight. Those are really — you know, it’s just the tee balls that are like that.
“The rest of your approach shots, which is really what is golf course is about, is greens in regulation, and a second-shot golf course, along with speed control, I feel like that’s a good strength of my game when I’m forced to seeing a certain shot and I get to fight it off a hill or ride it off the hill.
“At The Open Championship, if you’re holding it against a breeze or trying to play a shot really low. Just kind of getting into that feel part of that, the athleticism of the game.
“They are my favourite tournaments, they always have been, and there are actually a lot of similarities forced by different things in the way they play.
“Speed control, you couldn’t pick two different style of greens as far as the speed of them, but you have a lot of undulating putts where speed control comes very important between an Open Championship and the Masters, and you just can’t stress enough how nice it is if you can lag up to inside three feet here because your 5-, 6-footers are harder here than anywhere else because of how much break you have to play.”
Whilst Spieth’s 2015 win, in which he became the second-youngest Masters champion behind a certain Tiger Woods, made the Texas prodigy appear infallible, runner-up finishes either side taught him that there can be as much gained from defeat as from victory.
“I think I’ve learned that it’s a game,” he said. “It’s a game, and I’ve approached the highs and lows as life-and-death in different scenarios, and that’s not the case. Ten years here, a lot of experience, I can look back and say I learned a lot from winning, and I learned a lot from losing.
“I feel better perspective now than ever, and hopefully that continues to grow. But ultimately, our sport doesn’t get heightened more than it does this week. There’s not as much — this is the highest-viewed golf tournament in the world, and I like to always call it our Super Bowl, but at the same time, that’s still a game, too.”
On his way to winning the Green Jacket in 2015, Spieth birdied the par-5 13th in all four rounds, and with the hole likely to play some 35 yards longer in this year’s edition, Spieth rejected the idea that it’ll remove any of the excitement from what is one of the course’s most iconic holes.
“I disagree that it’s less exciting,” he argued. “Like, I think you’ve heard mixed reviews. Some people say more, some people say less. I mean, I think if you are stuck in between you and get more mayhem because you’re going to get more water balls than guys hitting 7-iron to the middle of the green, how is that not more exciting? It’s not very exciting if someone hits 7-, 8-iron into the middle of the green and 2-putts. You want to see someone hit it from further away or a harder shot.
“I don’t know if it’s a better or worse hole; it’s a different hole, and I think you have to be determined if it’s more or less exciting. If it’s warmer, it’s more exciting; but when it’s this cool, it may just be a lot of lay-ups. But we’ll see.”
Leave a comment