Friday 30 September 2016

Jordan Spieth admits to being 'very off' as he surrenders world number one spot

Phil Casey

Published 27/03/2016 | 10:31

Jordan Spieth of the United States loses his club after his second shot on the 16th hole as he loses to Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa in round four of the World Golf Championship-Dell Match Play at the Austin Country Club
Jordan Spieth of the United States loses his club after his second shot on the 16th hole as he loses to Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa in round four of the World Golf Championship-Dell Match Play at the Austin Country Club

Jordan Spieth believes losing his position as world number one could work to his advantage ahead of his defence of the Masters at Augusta National.

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Spieth's defeat to former Open champion Louis Oosthuizen in the last 16 of the WGC-Dell Match Play in Texas allowed Jason Day to replace him at the top of the world rankings by reaching the semi-finals at Austin Country Club.

"To be honest, it could be a good thing for me going into the Masters," Spieth told reporters before Day beat Brooks Koepka in the quarter-finals.

The 22-year-old Masters and US Open champion had not been taken past the 16th hole in any of his three group wins, but admitted he feared the worst against Oosthuizen after struggling with his game on the range.

''I didn't make it very hard on Louis today, which is unfortunate,'' Spieth said. ''I was off from when I hit my first 10 shots on the range.

"The ball was slicing off, which is very odd. I've had incredible control of the ball this week and of my wedges. I'm not exactly sure what happened, I still don't really know.

''And it could have been something as simple as ball position or alignment. I tried to figure it out for the entire range session, but I just couldn't grab a shot that I knew I could go to the course with. And on the first hole I sliced it off the tee there and kind of went from there. It was just a very off day.''

Spieth, who will contest next week's Shell Houston Open before defending his Masters title, added: ''The good stuff is there when I have control.

''As long as I can hold it together four, five, six rounds in a row then we're in good shape. I feel like it was a big improvement this week off of the last month.

"If I think about it that way we're going to be in good shape in a couple weeks and I think we'll get in contention next week, and hopefully hold a little more consistency there come the weekend.

''From Tuesday to now I feel much more confident than I did about Augusta. I played very, very solid the last few days and most importantly I made a lot of birdies, and that's something I haven't been doing as of late."

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