With The Masters coming up this week at Augusta National, Longhorns-ex Jordan Spieth could not have picked a better time to get his game headed in the right direction.
Spieth won the Texas Open on Sunday, his first title of any kind since winning the 2017 Open Championship. Spieth’s drought without a victory had been nearing four years, but his win on Sunday was, frankly, the culmination of two months of solid play that has gotten him close to the winner circle.
That streak started with a career-low 61 in the third round of the Phoenix Open two months ago. Even though Spieth couldn’t finish the job the following day, it was the spark for three top-four finishes (Phoenix, Pebble Beach, and the Arnold Palmer Invitational) in his next five stroke-play events, along with a Top 15 finish at the Genesis Invitational. Only at the Players Championship did Spieth fail to be a factor.
Plus, at the WGC-Dell Match Play event in Austin, Texas, the week before the Texas Open, Spieth reached the Round of 16 in the PGA Tour’s only match-play event.
But, this could all be a signal of things to come this week at Augusta National. This is where Spieth won his first major championship in 2015, which came one year after leading the event at the 54-hole mark before faltering and losing to Bubba Watson. Spieth was the youngest runner-up in Masters history in that 2014 Tournament. But he reached the mountaintop in 2015, as he became the second-youngest person to win the event and tied Tiger Woods’ tournament record of 18-under par. He led the event wire-to-wire.
The following year, in 2016, Spieth had a meltdown in the defense of his title, suffering bogeys on Nos. 10 and 11, along with a quadruple-bogey as No. 12, as his dreams of back-to-green jackets collapsed at Augusta National’s famed ‘Amen Corner.’ Spieth still finished in a tie for second place.
Since 2016, the closest Spieth has gotten to another green jacket was in 2018, when he finished in third place and surged with a 64 on Sunday. Patrick Reed won the title.
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Spieth won’t be the only Texas-ex on the course this week.
Scottie Scheffler will play in his second Masters, after tying for 19th in 2020. Scheffler was 6-under par for the event, with rounds of 71, 68, 72, and 71. He earned an invite after finishing in the Top 4 in the 2020 PGA Championship.
Scheffler reached the championship match of the WGC-Dell Match Play event at Austin Country Club two weeks ago. Like Spieth, he has a great tournament at Phoenix, finishing in a tie for seventh place, one of his three Top 10 finishes of the 2021 season. He’s never won on the PGA Tour, but he’s won two events on the Korn Ferry Tour, which is the PGA Tour’s satellite circuit. He was the Korn Ferry Player of the Year in 2019 and was the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year in 2020.
Dylan Frittelli is playing in his third Masters, and his second consecutive after finishing in a tie for fifth place in 2020, a finish that earned him a spot in the 2021 field. Frittelli had rounds of 65, 73, 67, and 72 to finish 11-under par. Frittelli also played in the Masters in 2018 but finished in a tie for 58th place.
Like Spieth, Frittelli made it to the Round of 16 at the Dell Match Play event, one of his two Top 10 finishes in the 2021 season.
CONTINUE READING: Spieth and Fellow Longhorns' Masters Tee Times Set For Opening Round
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Matthew Postins is an award-winning sports journalist who covers Longhorns in the Pros for Longhorn Country on FanNation.com and SINow. He also writes for CowboyMaven and DallasBasketball.com, covers the Big 12 for HeartlandCollegeSports.com and is the Editor of the College Football America Yearbook. Have a story idea about a former Longhorn now in the professional ranks? Contact Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.