Jordan Spieth has ‘moved on’ from Masters meltdown

Defending US Open champion Jordan Spieth talks to the media at Oakmont. Picture: AP
Defending US Open champion Jordan Spieth talks to the media at Oakmont. Picture: AP
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Jordan Spieth insists he will not be troubled by thoughts of what happened to him at the Masters two months ago when he looks to defend his US Open title this week.

The 22-year-old American blew the chance to claim back-to-back green jackets when he suffered a dramatic final-round collapse while leading at Augusta National in April, with England’s Danny Willett taking advantage.

Spieth then returned to winning ways with victory in the Dean & Deluca Invitational at Colonial Country Club in Texas at the end of May, something the world number two feels was vital in the process of him mentally moving on from his Augusta experience.

Spieth - quoted by the United States Golf Association - said: “I moved on. We went and won, and I think that was really big for us to actually win a tournament. Not just contend, but to actually close one out, and so now I can draw back on those last few holes, the pressure that I felt.

“So honestly I think it’s out of our heads now just from that one experience at Colonial.

“I think, if you’re coming off a recent win, getting back into contention is a more natural state. If you’re coming off kind of a heartbreaking loss, getting back into contention can be fearful and you’ve just got to push through the fear. And I feel like we got through that.”

Spieth also pointed out he can draw on “a lot of pretty special major experiences” after his superb 2015, and emphasised the confidence he always feels ahead of the biggest events.

He said: “A lot of it’s just mental. I feel that we’ve geared everything up to peak at a major. And because I feel that way, it makes me as confident as I can be.

“I couldn’t really describe it to you other than it just being kind of a mental state of being confident at the majors.”

He added: “I feel very confident about my game right now. I wish the tournament started tomorrow.

“I haven’t felt like a defending champion. There’s been no festivities. It just honestly feels like a normal week that I got here earlier for, and I’m preparing maybe harder for.

“Coming in as the defending champ can certainly help me if I get into contention.

“But as far as getting moving this week and my preparation, it really feels like a normal event, which is nice.”

Meanwhile, Spieth says he looks forward to the prospect of competing at the Rio Olympics - although he is not yet confirming his participation and remains wary of the threat of the Zika virus.

Asked about the Games, he added: “I’m not sure where I’ll play next, even after this week.

“But right now, I’m pretty confident with what we’ve heard from not only the PGA Tour but our personal outreach, and I think being an Olympian is just an absolute tremendous honour.

“Do I think being an Olympian outweighs any significant health threat? No. If I thought that the threat was significant, I certainly would not go.

“But based on what’s come to my knowledge at this point, it seems like it’s going to be an extremely memorable experience and I look forward to trying to win a gold for the United States.”