Winning The Masters is undoubtedly on every PGA golfer’s professional bucket list. Money cannot buy the tradition and esteem attached to the fabled green jacket.
But the pain of letting a chance at an even greater distinction — becoming just the fourth competitor to ever repeat as Masters champion — slip away on the back nine must be immeasurable. That’s the burden Jordan Spieth carried ever since he lost a five-shot lead with nine holes to play, to Danny Willett last year in Augusta.
When it happened, it wasn’t so much that Spieth lost the lead, it was the spectacular fashion in how he did it. He bogeyed No. 10, No. 11, and No. 17, not to mention the disastrous quadruple-bogey at the 12th hole.
Here’s what Spieth had to say about The Masters on Monday.
“No matter what happens at this year’s Masters, whether I can grab the jacket or I miss the cut or I finish 30th, it will be nice having the Masters go by,” he said. “The Masters lives on for a year. It brings a non-golf audience into golf. And it will be nice once this year’s finished from my point of view, to be brutally honest with you.”
Spieth’s comments really have to be looked at in context. He’s a fiery competitor and it’s probably safe to say that no one is harder on him than he is on himself. As a past winner of The Masters, he likely understands what the distinction means for a professional golfer as well.
It seems that Spieth is really just looking forward to not being asked anymore questions about his 2016 Masters result.
“It would be best if I could reclaim the jacket,” he said. “But I believe that I’ll be back up there sooner or later, just the way that we play the golf course, the success we’ve had and the comfort level I have there. Whether it happens this year or not, but it will just be nice because that tournament, it’s a 365-day thing. There’s no other Masters.”
“But as far as just having all the questions done, I’m pretty sure they will be.”
The best way for Spieth to shut down anymore questions about his collapse is clearly for him to win this year. It would truly be a wonderful way to conquer his demons and erase the image of him having to place what was almost his second green jacket, onto Danny Willett.