Jordan Spieth has warned the world of golf he believes there is a “next level” he can find after ending a four-year wait for a tournament win. Spieth’s success at the Texas Open, days before the Masters gets under way, pushed him to the forefront of this tournament’s narrative. The Texan won the first of his three majors at Augusta National in 2015, with a post-2017 slump leaving him 92nd in the world early this year.
“I feel like there’s quite a few things that I still need to really improve on and I felt that over the weekend,” Spieth said. “I felt that it wasn’t the best my swing felt. It wasn’t the best my [putting] stroke felt. There are times and ways that I can take a step forward and feel better and produce better golf shots consistently and produce better strokes. It is pretty awesome when I look back and think there’s a next level that I’ve been at that I’m still searching for right now.
“I like the progress that I’m making. I don’t feel that I have the control of all facets of my game that I want to have yet.”
Spieth was never likely to be affected by external observations when times were tough. It was notable, for example, that he did not change caddie or coach. “I believe in my team,” said Spieth. “They have proven themselves to be the best in the world. I needed to take responsibility.
“I’ve shut everything off for a number of years, even when I was first, second in the world. I just don’t think it’s useful. If you get to where you’re No 1 in the world, I don’t really see why anyone who has not been in that position should be giving advice that you would then take to mean something.”
Brooks Koepka’s arrival at Augusta has raised eyebrows, the former world No 1 having undergone knee surgery in mid-March. Pete Cowen, Koepka’s coach, said the hilly terrain will present problems for Koepka. “Walking the course is going to be the main thing, nothing else,” said Cowen. “Hitting balls is no problem. I don’t think anybody can help but be surprised knowing he was on crutches 19 days ago. To be here and hitting it as well as he’s hitting it, he’s in great shape. The only problem is going to be the walking. It’s a tough course to walk.”