PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FLORIDA | Maybe the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass simply has it in for Jordan Spieth.
Intent on snapping a string of three consecutive missed cuts in the Players Championship, Spieth instead gave himself a head start on another weekend off with a first-round 75 in docile conditions Thursday morning.
From Spieth’s perspective, it wasn’t that bad though the scorecard said otherwise. That sums up his tenuous relationship with the Stadium Course.
“It’s one of those courses … like at Augusta I didn’t feel like I played that great and I was somewhere near the leaderboard and out here I felt like I didn’t play that bad and I’m like in last. It’s two ends of the spectrum for me historically,” said Spieth, who tied for fourth in his Players Championship debut in 2014 and has since been shut out.
Spieth is, after all, the guy who turned potential calamity at the Open Championship last summer into a spectacular victory at Royal Birkdale, seeing light where others saw darkness.
“I’m not upset,” Spieth said. “I actually finished the day and told (caddie) Mikey (Greller), let’s do a little bit of everything after lunch because everything feels like it’s in a really good place and that will show itself the next three weeks.”
If another player talked like that, it might sound like wishful thinking. With Spieth, it sounds sincere.
Like a lawyer building his case, Spieth ticked off various examples of how the wind, such as it was, or fate or the golf gods conspired against him Thursday.
After opening bogeys on the 10th and 11th holes, Spieth eagled the driveable par-4 12th only to give those two strokes back with a watery double bogey at the par-3 13th.
“I look at the pitch mark. It hits on this edge off a wind gust that came from the opposite direction. That was what was going on today,” said Spieth, who had three water balls in his first seven holes.
Need another example? Spieth cited shots on Nos. 1, 2 and 3 that he said were just a foot or two from being ideal – only they weren’t.
“It’s almost like if I hit shots at different times, I just got on the wrong end of the where the winds were blowing. There’s three shots on those three when I didn’t miss a shot,” Spieth said.
The bottom line is Spieth does not love the Stadium Course nor does it love him back.