Jordan Spieth OK with not being oddsmakers' favorite
Jordan Spieth finished first and second in his previous Masters Tournament appearances.
Yet entering the 80th edition of the Masters, the defending champion is not the favorite. Several oddsmakers have installed Jason Day as the golfer to beat, just ahead of Spieth.
The 22-year-old Texan said he’s fine with that.
“He can be the favorite,” Spieth said. “We’ll just do our thing.”
Spieth did his thing in 2015, at the Masters and beyond. He won five tournaments, including the U.S. Open and the Tour Championship, and earned more than $12 million en route to winning PGA Tour Player of the Year honors. He also won an additional $10 million prize as FedEx Cup champion.
At the Masters, Spieth tied Tiger Woods’ record for low 72-hole total with an 18-under-par 270 finish. He opened with rounds of 64-66, briefly became the only player in Masters history to reach 19-under and closed with a four-shot victory.
When planning for his return trip to Augusta, Spieth packed the green jacket to give back to the club. He said the thought of handing over the iconic jacket gives him extra incentive to become the fourth player to win the Masters in consecutive years.
“It kind of fired me up a little bit,” Spieth said. “So yeah, just the jacket itself provides a little motivation, which is cool but at the same time, it’s not easy. It’s not easy to get. Don’t take it, I didn’t take it, for granted whatsoever. I think that I could have taken advantage of having it in my possession more than I did. But you learn and next time I’ll do a little bit better.”
Spieth has learned plenty about Augusta National Golf Club in the 25 to 30 times he’s played the course. In seven of eight tournament rounds, he’s shot under par. The other round? 72.
“I don’t know, I’ve just kind of had an eye for it,” said Spieth, who added he studied the course when he was 8. “I love courses where you have to use your imagination and a lot of feel, so I just kind of had a unique eye for it I guess, a passion for it, if you want to say.”
Spieth, who kicked off 2016 by posting a 30-under-par total to claim the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, said his game feels better now than it did last year on Tuesday of Masters Week.
“I’ve had a fantastic couple days thus far preparing, and the game feels great. Going to try and just use last year as momentum,” he said. “We know we’re capable of playing this place. We’ve proven it to ourselves the last two years. So the focus is on this week, and we feel as confident as probably ever leading into at least on Tuesday.”