Jordan Spieth says 2016 Masters 'haunted' him, took him to a dark place
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Jordan Spieth says 2016 Masters ‘haunted’ him, took him to a dark place

Jordan Spieth is going through a bit of a rough patch at the moment -- at least by the incredibly high standard he has played to since becoming a professional. A two-major season in 2015 will do that. However, Spieth, nearly 25, believes he has the mental stuff to get through this dip in his play because he got through the biggest dip most any professional golfer can imagine.

At Colonial on Wednesday, Spieth dug in on where the meltdown on No. 12 at the 2016 Masters left him personally and what it taught him about handling the pressures of being a world-class golfer while not falling into the same rut as Rory McIlroy, who has said he's personally lost some of his pure love for the game.

"The easiest way to enjoy what you're doing is to try and look at it from a bigger picture and to look each challenge as an opportunity," he said. |It's cliche, but I've gotten pretty down on myself at certain moments. You know, say, after the '16 Masters as being like a low point in my golf career. Even though it was still a tremendous week and still was a really good year in 2016, that kind of haunted me and all the questioning and everything. I let it tear me down a little bit. I kind of a lot a little bit of my own freedom, thoughts on who I am as a person and as a golfer."

Spieth tried his best to equate that failure -- on however spectacular of a stage as it was -- to the other times he fell on his face in smaller tournaments, even dating back to junior golf.

"Just because it happened to be on a bigger scale and I was thrown into the limelight based on 2015 and just interest in myself, it was created into a huge deal," he said.

A little more than a month later, however, Spieth found his way back to winning. He took the Colonial title in remarkable fashion.

"Man, I remember sitting in here after that win, and instead of like congratulations on the tremendous finish and win, the first question was, 'Does this make up for the Masters?' I'm like, 'You know what? This was a totally different experience.'"

The lesson perhaps has been, then, what so many greats have known: to be the best, you have to put yourself first -- and, preferably, in a bubble.

"I've just tried to really be selfish in the way that I think and focus on being as happy as I possibly can playing the game I love," he said, "not getting caught up in noise, good or bad."

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Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for over a decade, working for NBC Sports, Golf Channel, Yahoo Sports and SB Nation. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He used to be a good golfer.

Ballengee can be reached by email at ryan[at]

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