Inevitably, Jordan Spieth’s slump, such as it is, would invite scrutiny, and and a trio of Golf Channel analysts provided it in an interesting segment on its Live From the Players show Saturday morning.
Spieth, No. 2 in the World Ranking, missed the cut at the Players in his first tournament since his back-nine collapse at the Masters last month, and he did so playing alongside No. 1 Jason Day.
“The last five times they’ve played together Jason Day has beat Jordan Spieth by 49 shots,” Brandel Chamblee said. “Not only beaten him by 49, but he’s hitting it by him more than 49 yards a lot of the time.
“When you want to be the best in the world and you can see somebody with demonstrably stronger assets than you have, it forces you to go back home and rethink what you need to do to overtake a player when he’s playing that well.
“And it would be very, very hard for him not to go home and think that he needs to hit it further. Earlier in the year we heard Spieth to that effect, that he was changing his golf wing to hit it further. We know that he doesn’t need to do that. At his best he can still take down Jason Day. He would have to do it in other areas and be far more precise.”
David Duval concurred regarding his “trying to chase a little bit of distance that we so, so warned against doing. His play showed he didn’t need to, and then the putting and the pitching, his bread and butter for the last 18 months just has not been there.
“He continued to pour in 15, 20, 25-footers all through last year. He’s not doing that right now. It doesn’t look like he’s having fun out there right now. And recognizing that Jason Day is a formidable opponent, he needs to step it up.”
Arron Oberholser, meanwhile, suggested an attitude adjustment. “He just needs to flip the switch on the attitude a little bit. Needs to be a little kinder to himself on the golf course. And I think there needs to be a little bit more ‘I’ and a little less ‘we’ right now. He needs to take stock, to take ownership of what’s going on out there, and he needs to understand that when he misses a shot that he’s the one that pulled the club, not [caddie] Michael Greller.”