AUSTIN, Texas - Four holes up through seven against Jamie Donaldson, Jordan Spieth played like he was 2 down.
Following a solid 3-and-2 win over Jamie Donaldson on Day 1 of the WGC-Dell Match Play Championship, Spieth revealed that he approaches all matches as if he is 2 down no matter the course, circumstances or opponent.
Spieth denied that he became complacent upon reaching 4 up so quickly and explained that his approach was devised with some assistance from caddie Michael Greller.
“I have a lot of good history with Michael in match play," Spieth said. "Our strategy is to play as if we're 2 down pretty much at all times. Hopefully we're ahead when we're playing like we're 2 down, but it means stay aggressive.”
The approach almost backfired against Donaldson, who whittled the lead to two holes by the 14th tee.
“I overdid it today on 11 and 12,” Spieth said. “I’ve got to really understand the middle ground of playing 2 down, but don't take too many chances.”
The aggressive mindset might be a wise one for all golfers to learn from given Spieth’s career in match play that includes an undefeated career in Walker Cup and Ryder Cup play, and claim the U.S. Junior Amateur twice.
The ultra-aggressive approach was born out of his junior days where he realized in “certain situations” that he would play too conservative and give a “half-stroke advantage” to his opponents, “versus playing my game and trusting that game.”
Spieth resumes his 2-down approach at 11 a.m. CT Thursday against Victor Dubuisson.