Jordan Spieth 'laughs' about Masters meltdown
World No. 2 says 'I'm doing OK'
Spieth recovered on buddies trip to Bahamas
Preparing for June's U.S. Open at Oakmont
It will rank as one of the most infamous collapses in golf, but Jordan Spieth doesn’t want any sympathy.
The 22-year-old even laughs about his Masters meltdown now.
Spieth was cruising to back-to-back titles at Augusta with a five-shot lead entering the back nine on that fateful Sunday in April, before his dreams perished around Amen Corner, including a quadruple-bogey seven on the short 12th.
“I’m not taking it very hard,” Spieth said at a sponsor’s event in Pennsylvania Tuesday, the first time the Texan had spoken in public since the Masters.
“I have ladies at grocery stores coming up and putting their hand on me and going, ‘I’m really praying for you. How are you doing?’ And I’m like, ‘My dog didn’t die. I’m doing OK.’ I’ll survive. It happens. It was unfortunate timing.”
Spieth had led the Masters for seven rounds going back to his wire-to-wire victory in 2015, and was on his way to becoming the first start-to-finish winner two years in a row.
But bogeys on the 10th and 11th and two balls in Rae’s Creek on the treacherous 12th dropped him three behind as Briton Danny Willett pounced for his first major title.
As tradition dictates at the Masters, Spieth had to gather himself to present Willett with his green jacket – not once, but twice, for TV in the Butler Cabin and again on the lawns behind the clubhouse.
Muffling his inner emotions, he even had the grace to speak to the media, but with the perspective of time Spieth insists there are no lingering effects.
“I laugh about it now, I really do,” Spieth said.
When Rory McIlroy suffered his Masters meltdown in 2011 – squandering a four-shot lead going into the final day with a closing round of 80 – he rebounded with victory in the very next major, the U.S. Open.
“If you’re in contention at a major, say, 50 times in your career, something like that is going to happen,” said Spieth. “Just don’t let it happen again.”
Spieth says he was contacted by “some of the world’s greatest athletes” with supportive messages.
“And pretty much they believe, just as we believe, that we’ll be back – no problem,” Spieth said.
Shortly after the Masters, the world No. 2 decompressed on a break in the Bahamas with fellow PGA Tour stars Rickie Fowler, Justin Thomas and Smylie Kaufman, chronicled by Fowler on social media.
“We were having fun. We were relaxed,” Spieth said. “We were able to play golf, and golf was kind of secondary to the relaxation part of the trip.”
Spieth will now attempt to emulate McIlroy’s bounceback at the U.S Open at Oakmont in June.