Jordan Spieth's comeback showed signs of early promise at Torrey Pines, only for the weekend (73, 74) to bring much of what has plagued him for the past two years.
And with it, an unwanted distinction.
For the first time since 2013, the former No. 1 is outside the Official World Golf Ranking top 50. Spieth, who was No. 20 this time last year, fell to No. 51 after a T-55 finish at the Farmers Insurance Open.
Once one of the better second-shot players in the game, Spieth finished 145th in strokes gained/approach last season, a trend that continued in Southern California. Despite a strong showing on Thursday, he turned in a negative sg/approach figure in the final two rounds, finishing 63rd in the category out of 79 qualifying players, and hit just 59 percent of greens in regulation (T-75). His performance with the driver—59th in sg/off-the-tee—wasn't much better.
The last time Spieth was this high in the world rankings was his rookie campaign in 2013, standing at No. 53 after the PGA Championship. A runner-up finish at the regular-season finale Wyndham Championship moved him to No. 36.
Earlier in the week, Spieth asserted confidence in his progression, and belief said turnaround is closer than some deem.
“I still have some work, hopefully not very significant work, but I’m on the right track in my swing to get to where I feel I can be at that 2015 level again,’’ Spieth said in San Diego. “I want it as bad or more than I did then. There is no complacency. And I believe the next run will be as fun as the first.”
The three-time major winner hasn't won since the 2017 Open Championship, his last top three coming in last May's PGA Championship. Spieth is scheduled to be in this week's Waste Management Phoenix Open field.