A potential spot in the 2019 Masters is on the line at this week's Valero Texas Open, but the biggest storyline at TPC San Antonio revolves around a man who will never have to worry about an invite to Augusta National. Jordan Spieth became the second-youngest player ever to win green jacket in 2015 and he's been a threat to slip it on all five times he's teed it up at the year's first major. This year, however, Spieth will dogged amid the dogwoods with questions about his recent struggles. Unless he plays well this week.
Thursday was certainly a good start to changing the narrative surrounding his game. Spieth opened with a four-under 68 and sat just two shots off Si Woo Kim's lead after Day 1. The second round didn't start as smoothly as Spieth bogeyed No. 10, his opening hole, and then bladed his second shot on No. 11 over the green. Instead of letting the round spiral out of control early, though, Spieth flashed some of the short-game magic golf fans are more used to seeing from the former World No. 1. Check out the wild sequence of events:
The improbable birdie pulled Spieth back to even par early on Friday. It's a good sign for a player who hasn't won since the 2017 Open Championship and whose best stroke-play finish in eight starts this season is a T-35.
Why could this week be so important for Spieth's Masters chances? Mired in a similar slump last year, Spieth finished T-3 at the Houston Open. The following week he shot bookend rounds of 66 and 64 at Augusta National to finish solo third.