Jordan Spieth insists the collapse which saw him dramatically relinquish the lead at the Masters is behind him as he prepares to win his first Players Championship at Sawgrass. The tournament, regarded as the fifth major in the golf calendar, is the American's first since he threw away a five-shot lead on the back nine at Augusta to miss out on a second green jacket.
The two-time major champion and 2015 winner in Georgia made bogey at the 10th and 11th holes before finding the water twice at the 12th, subsequently finishing three shots behind eventual champion Danny Willett of England, who claimed his maiden major in extraordinary fashion. But Spieth has the chance to exorcise those demons from Augusta this week.
Despite having a healthy advantage at the summit of the leaderboard, Spieth had complained about his ball-striking throughout his rounds at the Masters, but is adamant he has moved on from the collapse. "I know the feelings that Danny was experiencing," the 22-year-old said, according to The Guardian. "I was obviously very happy for him and he 100% earned his Masters win.
"It really bugs me when people are trying to take that maybe away from him or shoot it down. The questions have been asked to him: 'Do you think this will go down as you winning or him losing?' And that's absolute bull, because he won and he earned it.
"I knew the shots he played down the stretch. I heard the roars. I knew the putts that he made. But for me personally, it was certainly difficult to go through that experience right afterwards, feeling like I had control of it and could have very well put the jacket on myself, or however it works. I don't really know how it works, I was hoping to find out."
The Texan has never fared well at the Players, failing to make the cut last year as Masters champion, before finishing 37th on his maiden appearance at the event in 2014. But should he be in contention at Sawgrass, Spieth is adamant nerves will not be a factor again.
"I don't think I have anything to prove," he added. "I think I've already proven what we're capable of doing when the pressure is on. We've succeeded and been able to succeed in close matches, close finishes. We've succeeded to stretch leads out and win by four to eight shots against some of the best fields in the world. So I don't think there's anything that'll come up where I feel like I need to get revenge.
"I have put it behind me. I'm not affected by it. If I work into contention again, I imagine those thoughts won't come up because it was just one bad hole with bad timing. I played the golf course the rest of that day extremely well.
"What happened? Well, I had mentioned throughout the week that I was not striking the ball very well. I didn't say that after Sunday's round, this was something I was mentioning from Thursday on. I was just getting around that golf course the right way."