Calling All Spieth Fans: Jordan Has A Problem

Houston, no, Dallas, Jordan Spieth has a problem.

The 80th playing of The Masters is officially in the books. Another year, another major gone. All that’s left are clamouring voices among the vast world of social medias and numerous columns praising everyone’s fallen hero Jordan Spieth.

Despite a catastrophic blow-up and literal water dunking on the iconic yet sinister par-3 12th Sunday (not once but twice), there hasn’t been a single superlative left unsaid about Spieth’s incredible class post-round in both conducting an interview with CBS and handing over the green jacket to a valiant opponent in Danny Willett who had just trampled over his dreams of winning back-to-back Masters.

Spieth’s story at the 2016 Masters wasn’t supposed to end like this. The 22-year-old, mature beyond his years, grandiose chum, all but destined for utter greatness, should have been donning his second green jacket in as many years on his way to tackling a second go at the single year grand slam.

But unlike the large percentage of golfers on the Spieth wagon for numerous years now — hello Kelly Tilghman — I believe I’ve seen the truth and that truth is that the Spieth everyone loves is an act. The mature, competitive, amazing young fellow you all love is actually hiding an ugly side that, in the long run, can have potentially catastrophic effects on his career, just like the 12th yesterday at Augusta.

See Spieth is calculated; extremely calculated. And when he can’t be he hates it (take it from someone who suffers with this unfortunate trait). Whether it’s backing away from a shot multiple times or whining about elements he can’t control (like the wind), things are supposed to go his way. If things aren’t completely in his control, it’s the end of the world. Reminds me of that Golftown commercial we all sat through countless times this week. You know, the one where the golfer blames the wind for a bad shot and the narrator says, “Yeah, you tell that wind. May it never again dare blow in your presence.”

Have you ever noticed how disproportionately whiny Jordan Spieth becomes when he catches a gust of wind mid-ballflight and things don’t go exactly as planned? Or how about the cut-eye his caddie Michael Geller gets when he makes an error? How many times did he start begging a putt to slow down with that annoying air push-up move whenever the putter went off on him this past week? For reference, I’ve included some short examples of Spieth’s on course antics below.

It’s been said before and I’ll say it again, defeat reveals a man’s true character, and Spieth is far from gracious…he also seems far from a man.

After completing his 3rd round on Saturday with a bogey and a double, Spieth said he felt like going home to “break something real quick.” During the 2nd round cameras picked up on Spieth lamenting being put on the clock through Amen Corner. After the round he said it was “unnecessary.” During the round he called it “bogus” (video below) in an infuriated child-like tirade towards his caddie.

Watching these scenarios unfold I couldn’t help being reminded of that kid we’ve all surely encountered at some point in our lives. You know, the one yelling, screaming and pouting in the local store because he didn’t get what he wanted, what he rightfully deserved. I also imagine that kid would go home and break something real quick too.

These types of behaviours weren’t reserved for this week’s Masters alone. They are commonplace for Spieth. Going all the way back to 2014 during a WGC Match Play loss to Ernie Els, he was dropping clubs and whining to the point that he himself expressed embarrassment in a post-round press conference and Els indicated it was a major point of weakness he capitalized on. This sort of behaviour has become the norm for Spieth. And though he says he wants to fix it, it just keeps getting worse, especially when his game is off (though it happens when his game is on too).

Like The Big Easy, I’m not the only one to pick up on this.

After the American twosome of Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson lost 4&3 to Internationals Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace in the Presidents Cup Friday four-ball matches at the end of last year, Spieth said about the match “That was Merry Christmas to them,” referring to the point the Internationals were able to take from the American duo, or, in his mind, he handed over.

Following the comments Golf Channel analyst Tim Rosaforte said “We hear Jordan talk to the ball all the time but when things get going bad…sometimes some of that youth shows through.” Arron Oberholser added, “I don’t like when guys talk like that. I know he’s the number one player in the world but it’s slightly classless.”

Everyone wants to attribute Spieth’s behaviour to his extremely competitive nature as a means of lessening its severity, but that’s bullocks. It’s classless simply put. And not slightly classless as Arron Oberholser put it, it’s straight up classless.

At his worst, former number one player in the world Tiger Woods showed a lot of anger. And for all it’s worth, me not being a fan of Tiger either, Spieth’s behaviour in my view is more annoying and even more troublesome.

After his final round collapse yesterday, cameras followed Spieth to the scoring booth and picked up on him sending them away from showing his face. Of course everyone’s heartstrings were pulled because of what just happened to their favourite wonder kid, but if you want the cameras when you win, you don’t send them away when you lose.

Many say he demonstrated his class by giving an interview to CBS’s Bill Macatee after such a horrific collapse, but my belief is that his oft mentioned “team” did a great job in convincing him to conduct that interview. I lack any proof, but it seems very strange that not minutes after telling cameras to get away he would personally agree to have a close-up one on one interview. I’m guessing someone heard what happened and said he’d better get his butt in front of the camera.

Even more telling was his behaviour, or lack thereof, in Butler Cabin. This is the first time I can remember the defending champion not offering his congratulations or shaking hands with the new champion before or after presenting him with the green jacket. The only words he could muster were “whoa, I almost fell over there” after tripping over his chair. If we want to talk about class, by what definition does that qualify? Spieth could have taken a page from the book of fellow 22-year-old and low amateur Bryson DeChambeau who made a point of congratulating Willett on his win and fine play even though the question he was asked was about himself.

So Jordan Spieth has a problem. What does that mean?

What that means is that this Masters loss could haunt him forever and in turn haunt his game like the ghost of Amityville Horror. Everyone’s so sure he’ll bounce back, and he most likely will, but I don’t think he’ll ever be the same because deep down, when he’s home alone trying his best not to read the Twitter feed he told Feherty he regrets reading, the nasty comments will get to him. The memories of an Augusta collapse will get to him. The inability to have control will get to him. The cloak behind which he hides his negative behaviours will get to him. His immaturity will get to him. And unless he can “break something real quick,” the records he aspires to break will break him instead.

If you’re a Spieth fan, I think you better hope he gets a handle on his emotions before there’s no more handle to grab hold of. As this year’s Masters proved, there’s only so much bounce back one person can have and hopefully Spieth doesn’t run into the Augusta National 12th hole of life. There might be no bouncing back from the seven on that par-3.

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Showing 7 comments
  • DP
    Reply

    what a garbage article. Full of opinion based on little fact. Not sure what you were trying to accomplish by ripping Spieth so bad.

    • Frank Mastroianni
      Reply

      DP,

      The reason this piece is “full of opinion” is because it’s a blog/column — not an article.

  • danmcco
    Reply

    I suspect if you had a camera on Bubba the whole time, you would hear and see much worse. I’ve seen more stink-eyes to caddies, begging and whining than Jordan’s. He just had the stage for 4 days.

    What annoyed me was how long he took on every shot. He was always at least one hole behind and finished nearly 2 holes behind on the weekend. When he gets penalized we’ll know the pga is serious about pace-of-play.

    The slowness probably added to you being annoyed by Jordan.

    • Frank Mastroianni
      Reply

      Thanks for the comments danmcco. His play has become excruciatingly slow.

  • david
    david
    Reply

    Hi Frank, I think a very insightful article, I too was thinking on similar lines, methinks he doth protest too much when a shot goes bad, you don’t hear the Nicklauses or McIlroys do that; and he has become extremely slow in his play, I have to switch to another channel while he starts his pre shot routine. I agree with what you’ve said, however I do think he will rebound, and let’s not forget he is only 21.

    • Frank Mastroianni
      Reply

      Thanks David. Appreciate the comments. Like I say he’ll most likely be back, but it could weigh on him and keep him from being as good as he can be if he doesn’t get some control over his emotions.

  • Jack Stone
    Reply

    Perfect. Absolutely Perfect. Finally someone speaks the truth. Thank you, Frank!!

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