Jordan Spieth sets up for another run at Masters green jacket
One week after Jordan Spieth ended his victory drought of more than three years, he’s in position to win again and make it a major to boot.
Spieth birdied three of Augusta National’s Golf Club’s four par 5s in the second round en route to shooting 4-under-par 68 and improve to 5-under 139 at the midway point of the 85th Masters Tournament.
“I think I’d probably sign up for a similar score after the next two days,” said Spieth, who is tied for fourth and trails leader Justin Rose by two strokes.
Augusta National is playing fast and firm and, if the rain holds off – that’s a big "if" – the forecast is calling for gusty conditions, which could cause even more havoc.
“When there’s very little friction on the greens, the wind affects the ball more than you think, I mean, more than any of y’all would imagine out here,” Spieth said. “It just gets very difficult to make a lot of putts. That’s why the scores will be, I think, more challenging over the weekend if we don’t get any rain.”
A resurgent Spieth has been the story of the golf year. After threatening to return to the winner’s circle in Phoenix and Pebble Beach, Spieth closed the deal last week at the Valero Texas Open, his 12th PGA Tour title, and emerged as the betting favorite at the Masters. It’s been a steady progression for the three-time major champion.
“I’m not in a place where I can say I’m standing up and just striping it, but I’m in a place to where I’ve got it to where I can manage it and I can manage around this golf course,” he said. “If it can just get 1% better each day here on in, that leaves me with a pretty good opportunity, I think.”
Spieth made birdies and Nos. 2 and 10 before dropping his only shot of the day with a bogey at No. 12 after failing to get up and down from the front bunker. He tossed his ball into the water in disgust. Frustration, he confessed, began to set in.
One hole later, the round turned after he hit 3-wood off the tee and pushed it right into the pine straw. His second shot won’t show up in any highlight reels, but it might be one of the shots Spieth remembers if he goes on to victory.
“I just kind of punch-cut a 3-wood that was a really nice shot, set up a really great angle to make birdie, and if it comes out the wrong way I can make 6, so there was a couple shots there. You look for moments that turn momentum, that was a good one for me,” Spieth said. “That was kind of a turning point that could have gone the other direction.”
One day after Spieth’s eagle chip crashed into the hole rather than going into the water at 15, likely a four-stroke swing, Spieth made a more routine two-putt birdie from just off the back fringe.
“It was a lot less stressful putting it from there down to a foot versus a chip would have gone in the water,” he said.
His final birdie of the day was classic Spieth as he calmly rolled in a downhill 30-foot putt.
“Tomorrow is going to be, I think, a pretty volatile day. I mean, we’ve got winds projected to be, what, 10 to 20 miles an hour,” he said. “I’m happy that the golf course has the opportunity to play more and more difficult over the weekend. I think that personally I’m looking forward to that kind of challenge, and I think that could be an advantage to me if I’m in control of the ball.”