Jordan Spieth walked off the course on Friday at the Sony Open encouraged with how he finished, battling to the end to card a four-under 66 at Waialae C.C.. The problem was, his week was finished, as Spieth missed his second consecutive cut on tour thanks to an opening-round 73 that he couldn't overcome.
While there's little doubt the three-time major winner will eventually turn it around, the back-to-back Friday trunk slams are still slightly concerning. Since he turned professional in 2013, Spieth has missed consecutive cuts on tour just three times, never in the same season. All three times, he quickly bounced back, like in 2015 when he missed the cut in the opening two playoff events and still went on to win both the Tour Championship and the FedEx Cup. In 2017, after back-to-backs MCs at the Players and the Byron Nelson, Spieth proceeded to finish T-2 at Colonial, and then win at the Travelers and the Open Championship. Last year, following missed cuts at the Memorial and U.S. Open, Spieth picked up three top 12s, two in majors, in his final seven events.
But never has he missed two straight this early in a season, and he's now done it twice in the last seven months. His struggles have caused him to take quite a fall in the Official World Golf Ranking, dropping to his lowest point in more than five years, as pointed out by Golf Channel's Will Gray on Monday:
For the first time since the 2014 Sentry Tournament of Champions, Spieth has fallen outside the top 17 in the world ranking, and this is after beginning the 2018 season in the No. 2 position. And it could get worse according to OWGR Twitter guru Nosferatu:
Because he's not in the field at this week's Desert Classic, Spieth could fall outside the top 20, somewhere he hasn't been since December of 2013 when he ranked 22nd.
The fact that being ranked 18th in the world might be seen as a negative would certainly classify as a Jordan Spieth problem, one that he and everyone watching him closely will likely have a big laugh about when he eventually figures it out. But until that happens the slumping Spieth narrative will only gain more steam.