PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – The grind will continue.
For the second consecutive Sunday, Jordan Spieth deflated golf fans’ hopes with a less-than-stellar final round. His winless stretch will extend another week.
The former world No. 1 and three-time major champion took a two-stroke lead into the final round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and in the process pumped some much-needed juice into a tournament lacking star power.
But in an ideal position to win for the first time since the 2017 British Open, the winner of 11 PGA Tour titles from 2013 through 2017 lost his lead 40 minutes after teeing off and couldn’t produce momentum nor his heralded magic the rest of the overcast day.
Spieth came home with a 2-under-par 70 and finished in a tie for third, three shots behind winner Daniel Berger. It was Spieth’s second consecutive top-5; just last week he fired a 10-under-par 61 at TPC Scottsdale in the third round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, a round that blew up social media and placed Spieth into a share of the 54-hole lead. But a final-round 72 dropped him into a tie for fourth; his first top-10 in nearly a year.
“I’m as confident as I’ve been in a long time,” Spieth said. “Not only the current outlook but also looking forward. So it’s still mechanics. It’s still dragging on. It’s still going too long and therefore getting late into the ball and I made some really, really good swings this week under pressure and I made some not so good swings under pressure and there were more good ones than there were last week.”
So Spieth will head south to Los Angeles for the Genesis Invitational hosted by Tiger Woods at Riviera Country Club. He’ll do so with some extra confidence in his luggage, especially after missing the cut at Torrey Pines in the Farmers Insurance Open three weeks ago.
“So as I go into next week at arguably my favorite golf course in the world, at Riviera, I look to have more swings that I know are getting into position, hitting the spots I know that I can kind of turn and burn from than I had this week,” Spieth said.
In Sunday’s final round, Spieth didn’t take advantage of the scoreable first seven holes at Pebble Beach, playing them in even par. The stretch deflated Spieth.
“I got off to the exact kind of start I wanted to as far as where I was on the green on 1 and 2 and I hit two just great putts that could very easily have dropped and didn’t,” Spieth said. “Then I hit a decent drive on 3, kind of hit it in the corner of the bunker and shot up into where I didn’t have much of a stance, and I just, it was (tough to take). I got some really good breaks the first few days and it just felt like it kind of started to even out over the first five holes for me.
“It was tough from there. Once you knew you had lost the lead, then you’re playing a different game out here. Really it was just a really poor first six holes. And out here, that’s where you can score.”
Still, Spieth is in a whole lot better place these days than he was three weeks ago.
“If I look back at Friday night of San Diego and you tell me I was going to share the 54 and have the 54-hole lead two weeks in a row and really just fight, finish strong to both weeks, I would have said you’re crazy, to be honest,” Spieth said. “I was not in a great head space following that missed cut there and just did some really phenomenal work from Sunday through Wednesday of last week that was probably the best period of a few days of work that I’ve put in in a long time.
“It just got me believing in what I was doing and progressing forward. That’s really what I continue to say is just progressing forward and if I put myself in the position of leading after 54 holes enough times, especially with how I know I’m going to fight even if it’s not going my way, I’ll end up on top one of these days.”
original article link https://golfweek.usatoday.com/2021/02/14/pga-tour-jordan-spieth-pebble-beach-another-big-step/