NEW YORK (AP) – Jordan Spieth never missed so many putts and felt so excited leaving a golf tournament.
“I hit the ball so good,” Spieth said as he signed autographs at Bethpage Black. “I was Tiger Woods in 2000.”
He signed another autograph, looked back and grinned.
“OK, I was exaggerating a little on that,” he said.
The Barclays was one of those rare tournaments that Spieth had slightly lower expectations with his putter. His practice in Dallas was limited to a 12-foot strip of artificial turf because the greens where he normally practices were closed.
Plus, he is still working on his relationship with poa annua.
“I’m Bermuda, and then I’m bent,” he said of the grasses on which he putts his best. “And then there’s probably six other kinds. And then I’m poa.”
The two-time major champion is not hopeless on poa. Spieth missed a playoff by one shot at Riviera, the same course where he helped lead Texas to an NCAA title. He has a pair of top 10s at Pebble Beach and he had the 36-hole lead one year at Torrey Pines.
“When it’s softer, I have a harder time trusting the shorter length putts because I know they’re going to hop so I change my stroke, which I probably shouldn’t,” he said. “But it’s hard for me to trust it. I hit putts where I wanted to, but I either under-read them or over-read them. Just bad timing.”
He missed six birdies chances from the 10-foot range or closer in the final round. But the fact he had that many chances was good news for him.
“I knew coming in the putting was going to be down because I hadn’t worked on it to the extent I usually do,” he said. “I told Michael (Greller) on 10 that I wanted to have a good look at birdie on every hole coming in, which on this back nine is really hard to do. And I had a legitimate chance, other than 16, on making birdie on every hole.”
That he made only one of those didn’t bother him.
“I leave here on a big-time high,” Spieth said.
He headed to Friar’s Head for a game with Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler and Smylie Kaufman on Monday before making his way up to the TPC Boston. Spieth and Brandt Snedeker in 2013 are the only FedEx Cup champions to start the playoffs in the top 5 the following year.
Spieth stayed at No. 5 in his bid to become the first repeat winner of the $10 million prize.
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