AUGUSTA, Ga. — Like most of his maligned season, Jordan Spieth's week at the Valero Texas Open was a bit of a mixed bag. There were signs of promise, with back-to-back 68s leaving the three-time major winner just a shot out of the lead heading into the weekend, and there was a five-under 31 on Saturday's back nine. There were also displays that made one cover their eyes, like Spieth's opening 42 on Saturday and ranking last in the field on Sunday in approach. It added up to a T-30 finish, one that doesn't instill a wealth of confidence heading into the Masters.
But Augusta National has been home for Spieth, boasting a a win, two runner-ups, a third-place finish and an appearance in the penultimate group at the Masters, and his 70.05 scoring average is the best career mark among those in this year's field.
So perhaps it's not surprising that, despite his so-so showing in San Antonio, Spieth's Masters odds dropped from 20/1 to 16/1, now among the handful of favorites to capture the green jacket.
Except that public figure was not moved because of Spieth's play, but the play of one ambitious gambler.
According to Jeff Sherman of SuperBookUSA, Spieth's number movement was strictly a byproduct of a sole $6,000 bet on the 25-year-old.
Given Spieth's performance, or lack thereof, this campaign, that seems like a wasted $6,000, especially if historical trends about play heading into Augusta are to be believed. Conversely, if anyone is built to snap out of a slump among the Georgia pines, Spieth's as good a bet as any.