Jordan Spieth tipped to conquer his 12th-hole demons

Two-time US Open champion Curtis Strange believes Jordan Spieth can overcome his mental scars from 12 months ago to get in the Masters mix for the fourth year in a row this week.

Jordan Spieth will be aiming for another Green Jacket. Picture: Matt Slocum/AP Photo
Jordan Spieth will be aiming for another Green Jacket. Picture: Matt Slocum/AP Photo

Spieth’s Augusta National record makes for impressive reading, having 
finished second-first-
second in his three starts in the season’s opening major, though last year’s effort was ultimately disappointing.

The Texan led by five shots heading into the 
back nine before letting a second Green Jacket slip off his shoulders by 
running up a quadruple-bogey 7 at the 12th, his 
disaster opening the door for Danny Willett to become a first-time major winner.

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Only time will tell if 
those demons will come back to haunt Spieth, but Strange reckons his young compatriot has already proved he has mental toughness by winning shortly after last year’s capitulation.

“I think he’s such a solid player, and even if he gets (to the 12th) with a one-shot lead on Sunday, 
and the pin is in the same position, he’ll learn from what he did last year and he’ll hit the proper shot,” said the former Ryder Cup captain and ESPN analyst.

“There’s nothing wrong with remembering when you screwed up the year before or a couple years before, because you learn from that. You say, ‘I’m not going to do that again’. The first time is their fault, the second time is my fault. And I think it’s okay, it’s not a negative, it’s actually a learning experience. And we have all gone through that.

“Let’s not forget, he won a few weeks after last year, too, so it’s not like he went in the dark room and stayed for three days. That’s part of golf. That’s part of being golfers, we have to have these short memories. We have to be kind of halfway idiots in the respect that we have to take a lot of the bad and very few good times and we learn how to do that. I think he’ll be just fine.”