Jordan Spieth makes his return to competitive golf this week after taking a one-month hiatus following his Masters ordeal. An exceptionally strong field has been assembled at TPC Sawgrass, meaning that Spieth cannot afford another slip if he hopes to claim his first crystal trophy at The Players Championship.
The young Texan tied for fourth at TPC Sawgrass in 2014, but missed the cut last year. The Dallas native was confident in his form ahed of the $1,8-million tournament, which begins on Thursday.
‘This is one of my favourite courses in the world’ he said. ‘ You got to strike the ball extremely well and it plays narrower than it seems, just given if it sits a little bit down in the rough.’
‘It… requires working the ball in both directions and controlling in the wind. I like that,’ he said of the Pete Dye-designed Stadium Course, which this week hosts The Players Championship for a 35th time. Spieth summarised the famed back nine at TPC Sawgrass: ‘Obviously the closing stretch takes some nerve.’
His nerves have gone untested since Augusta and this week’s top-class field sets up for a perfect acid test. The seven-time PGA Tour winner has had a good season so far and has racked up one victory and four top-ten finishes. He missed a cut at the horror-show Northern Trust Open after carding a Thursday round of 79, but has top-25s from all of his other starts this year.
The 2014 Emirates Australian Open winner could banish last year’s memories of TPC Sawgrass with a good result this week. It is difficult to see Spieth not being near the front on Sunday. The closing stretch would be a prime venue for him to prove that he’s put The Masters ordeal behind him.