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Spieth has restored his game at the perfect time with a home-state victory and tough test ahead
A long road came to an appropriate conclusion Sunday for Jordan Spieth, who shot four straight rounds under par to pick up a two-stroke victory in the 2021 Texas Open. It is Spieth’s first victory on the PGA Tour since 2017 as the 27-year-old has struggled to find his game after an incredible start to his professional career.
Spieth (-18) shot 67 or better in three of the four rounds at the Texas Open, closing with a 66 on Sunday to clear second-place finisher Charley Hoffman by two strokes. He birdied three of his final six holes Sunday and shot par or better over his final 14 holes to end the tournament.
The victory is a key achievement for Spieth, not only because it occured in his home state but due to the fact that it comes just days before he takes on the 2021 Masters at Augusta National, the site of his greatest victory in 2015 and most crushing defeat in 2016.
“There were a lot of times I wasn’t sure if I’d be here [in the winner’s circle],” Spieth told NBC after the final round. “I never doubted in myself to get back to where I wanted to go. When you lose confidence, a lot of times it’s hard to see the positive going forward. … It’s a team effort, and I’ve been blessed to work with the best in the world at everything they do. This is a monumental win for me. It’s one I’ve certainly thought about for a long time.”
The victory is Spieth’s 12th on the PGA Tour and first since the 2017 Open Championship. He is just the fifth player in the last 40 years to win 12 or more events before age 28, joining an exceptional short list that includes Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas.
Prior to his three-year drought, Spieth went on an absolute tear from 2015-17, winning three majors (2015 Masters, 2015 U.S. Open, 2017 Open) along with the 2015 Tour Championship and six other events in that span.
He struggled massively in 2019 and 2020 with career-worst showings at the Masters (T46, 2020), PGA Championship (T71, 2020) and U.S. Open (T65, 2019). Spieth also opened the 2020-21 season by missing the cut in four of his first seven events and finishing no better than T38 in the other three.
However, Spieth has been on an absolute tear beginning at Phoenix Open in February. In addition to his win Sunday, he has four other top-five finishes along with two top 15s out of seven events (he placed T48 in The Players Championship).
“I actually felt really light. I felt like I just wanted to come out and smile, try to have some fun,” Spieth said of his Sunday effort. “That’s kind of been a challenge for me on these Sundays when I’ve been in contention is really, going into the round, I’ve not come out with a real lightness to me. I just felt like today, I did. … Man, it’s been a long road.”
With the 2021 Masters beginning Thursday, Spieth is playing his best golf in three years. He is one of the top favorites in the event, entering Augusta with 11-1 odds coming out of his Texas Open victory. That’s tied for third-best on the board with Bryson DeChambeau, according to William Hill Sportsbook.