How He Hit That: Jordan Spieth's no-nerves pitch

March 16, 2015

The knock on Jordan Spieth after last year's Masters was that he had trouble closing the deal down the stretch.

That isn't a knock anymore.

The 21-year-old won his second PGA Tour event with buckets of clutch, saving pars from an awkward bunker lie on 16 and from a short-sided spot behind a bunker on 18 to earn a spot in a three-man playoff. There, he made a 28-footer for birdie on the third playoff hole to beat Patrick Reed and Sean O'Hair.

Spieth's pre-shot process and execution on the 18th hole pitch were especially impressive given the stakes. "He doesn't take any extra time before the shot," says 50 Best Teacher and tour short game guru Kevin Weeks. "He uses his normal routine, makes a quick practice swing and gets right to it. It wasn't a super hard shot from that wispy lie -- a tour player is within 10 feet 80 percent of the time on it -- but calming yourself down in that situation and pretending nobody is around there isn't a spot in a playoff on the line is a big deal."

Spieth's technique on the 30-yard pitch is pretty close to the same he uses on a full swing, says Weeks. "He's seeing the flagstick and trying to hit a high shot that wraps itself up in the flag itself and drops right by the hole," says Weeks. "The average player doesn't hit this shot with enough confidence to give it the speed it needs. Set up with the butt of the club pointed at your belly button, so you're using the true loft, and make a full swing to a full finish. You can see here that the club touches Jordan's left shoulder on the finish. The harder you swing, the higher the ball will go."