Montgomerie, Duval warning to Jordan Spieth: Chase improvement at your peril

August 17, 2015

So Jordan Spieth won two major championships and ascended to No. 1 in the World Ranking and he's only 22. What now?

Colin Montgomerie on Golf Channel Sunday night warned against his doing anything different in an effort to get better.

"We're saying, what does Jordan Spieth have to do to improve?'" Montgomerie said. "He's doing OK the way he is. Sometimes improvement, you can diversify in life and get it wrong. Jordan Spieth has to do what he was doing this year and do it again next year."


Richard Heathcote

Though Tiger Woods was never mentioned, it had to have been one name that came to mind in the litany of golf's cautionary tales. Others that were mentioned were Luke Donald and Martin Kaymer, each of whom ascended to No. 1 only to chase improvement and suffer considerable setbacks in the process.

"Nearly every good or great player as they go into their mid to late 20s, early 30s, they improve in some capacity," Rich Lerner said. "Where do you think Spieth would improve?"

"You have to learn," Montgomerie said. "Jordan Spieth is learning all the time. Why did he not win this week? His putter was a little bit colder than it was the last three majors, obviously. So that's why he didn't win. OK, we work on that, if he can become a better putter."

David Duval, a former world No. 1, issued his own warning.

"One of the things I'm hoping is he doesn't chase distance in this distance-prejudiced era," he said. "He doesn't need it. He's ascended to number one against a mighty formidable group of players this year. That goes to show that what he's doing is right. And he doesn't need to improve. Every golfer wants to improve. Be careful that you don't go backwards in that process. If you figured out a way and you get to number one how do you need to improve? You're the best."

Replied Montgomerie, "You have to be very careful. A number of great golfers got to number one or number one on the money list and thought, right, I've got here, now how can I get better.' and I never see them again. So be careful."