This year's Hero World Challenge is doubling as a team-building experience for most of the American golfers in the field. But while Jordan Spieth hasn't let that fact spoil his week yet, he acknowledged he's going to be feeling a bit down once the big charter flight heads Down Under without him.
"No, I don't really feel that because they haven't left. I'm sure next week will be tough for me at home," Spieth said after Thursday's second round in the Bahamas. "I'll try and honestly just get away while the tournament's going on because you never want to miss those events when you've kind of been a part of them for a number of years. But this week, that hasn't hit me at all."
Aside from not being in the matches and not playing Royal Melbourne, Spieth said he'll also miss the intra-squad chatter.
“I’m probably out of a lot of group texts,” Spieth said. “All those guys in Florida play all the time together, so I don’t even know — it might all be the same group text. But it sucks because there was always good banter on those and I always liked the lead-in and the playing practice rounds together, preparing to be a team representing your country. It’s tough.”
“When it’s being played without being there, that’s when I’ll probably be like, man, I took it for granted,” he added.
Spieth had played on the previous six U.S. teams, beginning with the 2013 Presidents Cup. But after going winless for a second consecutive season, Spieth failed to qualify for the biennial event on points and was passed over when Tiger Woods made his four—and ultimately, five with Brooks Koepka's knee injury—captain's picks.
Considering Spieth's incredible early-career résumé and his competitive drive, it's no surprise to hear him sound so sad about not competing with the U.S. squad at Royal Melbourne. But his comments were a lot different from those of Phil Mickelson, who will miss his first team competition in more than a quarter century.
“I’ve always thought this would be one of the most exciting events to watch,” Mickelson recently told Golf Digest's Dave Shedloski. “No, I’m excited. I’m pulling for the guys. I want to see us get another win.”
Spieth will undoubtedly be "pulling for the guys" as well, but it certainly doesn't sound like he'll be glued to his TV watching.
For now, Spieth is looking to end 2019 on a high note. And despite his Presidents Cup comments—credit to him for such candid answers, by the way—he was upbeat about his game for the most part following a second-round 70.
"I'm actually really confident about what 2020 holds for me," Spieth said. "I feel things starting to get on the right track, it's just timing stuff and again, some visuals. But over the ball, I'm seeing a lot—it's not really relating into necessarily the scores yesterday. I had like two bad drives. I drove the ball really well the whole day, but that kind of stuff I'll fine tune and it will certainly get better as I hit more shots."