Spieth entered the week as world No. 14, the lowest he's been ranked since November 2014. 

By Daniel Rapaport
November 09, 2018

Jordan Spieth entered this week's Mayakoba Golf Classic as the No. 14 player in the world. That's certainly nothing to scoff at for normal players, but this is Jordan Spieth we're talking about—Golden Boy, three-time major winner and once the heir apparent to Tiger Woods as the face of American golf. 

In an ironic twist of faith, Spieth currently ranks one spot behind Woods in the world rankigns. What kind of odds could you have received on that bet last summer, when Spieth had just produced an all-time back-nine comeback to win the Open Championship, his third major?

The 16 monts since that Open win has been a slog for Spieth—he hasn't won since, and he famously failed to qualify for September's Tour Championship for the first time in his PGA Tour career. 

By missing the Tour Championship, he failed to satisfy the Tour's minimum tournament requirement. As a result, he signed up to play two fall events—last week's Shriners Hospitals for Children Open and this week's tournament in Mexico—that maybe he wouldn't enter under normal circumstances. 

The thought process likely was: make the Tour happy by adding juice to fall events and, hopefully, play some good golf and get back in the winner's circle. 

The golf part hasn't gone to plan. Spieth posted a 71-72 weekend last week in Las Vegas as everyone else was taking it low, eventually finishing in a tie for 55th. This week in Mexico, a two-day total of two-under 140 will see him miss the cut, probably by two strokes. 

Most concering for Spieth is his continued struggles with the putter, the club that was integral in propelling him to world No. 1. Spieth looked generally uncomfortable with the flatstick in his hand in Mexico, missing a number of short putts and frequently giving the early walk, almost always an indication of a poor stroke.

It's a continuation of a troubling trend—after years of being one of the best putters on Tour, Spieth dropped to 136th in strokes gained putting last season. 

There's something else worth mentioning in any discussion of Spieth's on-course play: his upcoming marriage. Spieth will soon wed his longtime girlfriend Annie Verret, and certainly there are other things on his mind right now. 

That wedding will keep him from Woods' Hero World Challenge event, and he'll also be skipping the Australian Open, a tournament he's played in recent years. It's unclear when he'll tee it up next—he's not eligible for January's Sentry Tournament of Champions. It could be the following week's Sony Open or the Farmers Insurance Open or perhaps the Waste Management Phoenix Open. 

Perhaps the wedding and the new year will be the spark Spieth, who is somehow still just 25 years old, needs to turn around his game. 

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