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Despite Uneven Season, Spieth Enters As A Favorite

Jordan Spieth (Photo: Jonathan Ernst, Reuters)

AUGUSTA, GEORGIA | It’s enough to win one Masters, to have that green jacket and a lifetime spot in the Masters.

Or is it?

Jordan Spieth wonders.

He won the 2015 Masters and was seven holes from winning the 2016 Masters when it all came apart. Despite a flat 2018 season thus far by his standards, Spieth is still among the favorites to win this week, having recently supplanted Tiger Woods as the betting favorite according to Las Vegas.

Spieth said he was naïve when he played his first Masters in 2014, only realizing after playing the event for the first time all that it could mean to his career. From there, Spieth said his desire to win bordered on anger.

When he won the next year, so much changed.

“After winning it and then experiencing kind of the whirlwind right after and what it led to the rest of the season, the way it kind of free-rolled, it felt like I was free-rolling for every single tournament I played in, because I had won the Masters,” Spieth said.

“I mean, I don’t care if I miss the cut in every event for the rest of my life now, I won the Masters. That was my lifelong goal. I said it in an interview that’s been published when I was 14 years old: ‘I want to win the Masters someday.’ ”

So winning one Masters is enough?

“But now it’s like, man, I’ve got a lot of Masters to play in, it’s kind of cool to have multiple green jackets. So it would be nice to do it again. So maybe a little bit of both.  Probably about even,” Spieth said.

Before it begins, this Masters feels different to Spieth because his season has been slightly off kilter, which he traces back to a bout of mononucleosis last year. It put his offseason preparation behind and he’s been playing catch-up since.

Spieth used the word panic to describe his state of mind within the past month when he became impatient with his progress. It’s better now, helped by a good week at the Houston Open, but it’s been a different season.

“If I don’t play well this week, well, I didn’t exactly have the lead into it that I was looking for every single year going back to my rookie season coming into here and that’s OK with me,” Spieth said.

“I feel good about my game, I feel confident, I feel like I should have a chance to win this week. But if I don’t, it’s coming soon. And that’s exciting for me.”

“I made big strides in the last two weeks to get from kind of a panic place to a very calm, collected and confident place. And it’s difficult to do in two weeks. Sometimes it takes years.  And I feel like I’ve been able to speed that process up a lot over the last couple weeks.”


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