ATLANTA | If you want to know why, less than a week out, the Presidents Cup has all the buzz of a 1970s analog alarm clock, look no further than the vacant, thousand-yard stare Jordan Spieth had on a hot Saturday afternoon at East Lake.
Spieth, who began the week talking about the need for rest and how long this final stretch of golf has been, battled to 4-under through three rounds – well out of contention – but every step, swing, chip and putt looked like work.
“I’ll take Monday off,” Spieth said when asked about the upcoming Presidents Cup. “I’m looking forward to a day without golf. I’m going to give it all I’ve got tomorrow (Sunday) and then really take it easy in preparation until maybe Wednesday and then make whatever adjustments are necessary.”
That tells you all you need to know. When the No.1 player on the U.S. team, the gritty, emotional leader that Captain Steve Stricker needs in New York, is talking about the need for rest, you know the Presidents Cup is likely to be a low-energy affair.
Throughout the week, Spieth talked about conserving himself, getting to bed early and spending a lot of time with his feet up. No true enthusiasms were shown by anyone for the upcoming matches.
“It may sound like I’m 24 and I shouldn’t worry about it,” Spieth said. “But you can really tell the difference physically and mentally by the time the weekend rolls around if you’ve overdone it early in the week.”
And after a two-month stretch of intense golf, culminating in the four Playoff events, the Presidents Cup seems more like that long weekend after overdoing it early in the week.
The players might get up for it – they might get their second wind and put on a heck of a show – but seeing the slumped shoulders and exhausted faces in Atlanta, you wouldn’t bet your house on it.