Jordan Spieth heads to Baltusrol Golf Club for the PGA Championship aiming to put the record straight and get his mojo back after a disappointing 2016 in major championship golf.
The Dallas-born golfer’s meltdown, where he let slip a five-shot lead with nine holes to play, at Augusta in April will be etched in Masters history for years to come and despite ending tied-second, there would have been disappointment about the performance.
He shared 37th place at the US Open after carding a final-round 75 and luckily fell on the cut line at the Open Championship to make the weekend, eventually ending in a tie for 30th after a solid final round of 68.
In terms of the positives, the 22-year-old has been victorious twice on the PGA Tour this season at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions and Dean & DeLuca Invitational.
The Texan missed the cut at the PGA Championship in his first two appearances in 2013 and 2014 but excelled last year at Whistling Straits, finishing second on 17-under-par. The score would have been good enough to win many a major, had it not been for the exceptional play of Jason Day. Spieth can only aim to go one better and capture his first Wanamaker Trophy, which is well within his reach.
The University of Texas alumni ranks third in birdie and scoring average on the PGA Tour and has the putter working for him this season. His driving is not as spectacular but he does still rank a respectable 35th in average driving distance. His weak link that may be exposed at Baltusrol is his iron play where he ranks 163rd in greens in regulation.
Finding the greens will be crucial on the long New Jersey layout if Spieth wants to take advantage of birdie opportunities. His driving accuracy and approach shots from distance are not too spectacular either, which put him on the back foot against the likes of Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy when it comes to making the most of the closing par-fives.
The two-time major winner will hope to put in a good performance to banish the ghosts of Augusta and get back to the level of performance that spectators enjoyed in 2015 when he finished all four majors inside the top-five.