Jordan Spieth Grateful After First PGA Tour Win Since 2017
HE’S BACK! After 1,351 days and 83 starts on the PGA Tour since his last victory, Jordan Spieth has won a golf tournament again. And he has done so on the eve of The Masters, the event he loves more than any.
It has been a long time coming but, in truth, his two-shot triumph at the Valero Texas Open should surprise nobody. Spieth has shown some sparkling form this season and it was only a matter of time before he got back into the winner’s circle for the 12th time in his career.
And how apt it was that he should win in Texas. He is, after, a native of Dallas and the limited crowd of 5,000 were rooting for him all the way.
After he holed the winning putt his wife, Annie, ran to him with tears in her eyes and he lifted her off her feet. It was a joyous scene.
Still only 27, Spieth had won the U.S. Open, The Masters and The Open. He had the world at his feet. But after his victory at Royal Birkdale in 2017 his game fell off a cliff. And the harder he tried, the worse it became.
He recently revealed that he suffered a hand injury but rather than seeking treatment and taking time away from the game he carried on playing. He would stand on the tee with not the foggiest idea where the ball was going. Now he is healthy. And he is a winner again.
“I feel grateful,” Spieth said. “It’s been a road that’s had a lot of tough days. I’ve had people in my corner that have always believed in me, even when I’ve kind of believed less in myself."
He did it in some style, shooting a final round of 66 to end the week at 18-under 270, two better than Charley Hoffman and four ahead of England’s Matt Wallace, for whom this represented his best finish on the PGA Tour. He climbed 33 spots in the FedExCup standings to No7. It capped a run in which he’s enjoyed three top five finishes since the beginning of February. It also brings him back into the Ryder Cup equation.
He made seven birdies, including a critical short putt on the par-four 17th. He drove to the fairway on par-5 18th, laid up and wedged in. His only bogey of the day came on the front nine but he reached the turn leading by two courtesy of birdies at the third and eighth holes.
“Even though I knew Charley was playing well and the wind was dying down, he’d have to make birdies,” Spieth said. “I made better swings on the back nine today.”
His gallery grew, especially at the 16th, a par-three with the bunker in the middle of the green. Hoffman birdied it. But Spieth refused to be rattled. He parred the hole and when he birdied the 17th it meant he took a two-shot lead to the 18th.
“For me, it’s about throwing out results and instead work on freedom,” Spieth said. “If I’m feeling freedom out there, I’m loving what I’m doing, and if I love what I do, I’m going to do it well.”
After he holed the winning putt his caddie, Michael Greller, removed the flag from the stick at the 18th. Hoffman gave Spieth a bear hug and later said: “I know what he’s been through."
And so he will head off to Augusta with renewed hope and a giant spring in his step.
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