Since he exploded onto the golfing scene, Jordan Spieth has enjoyed success after success. Last year he won two Majors and established himself at the top of the rankings, taking the number one spot off Rory McIlroy. However, in recent weeks his form has been criticised, and Spieth was involved in a spat on twitter with his form coming under scrutiny. However, has Spieth really been underperforming, or is this being over hyped by the media?
It’s worth remembering Spieth started off the year in fantastic form. He won the Hyundai Tournament of Champions by eight shots, playing some fantastic golf along the way. He then finished fifth at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, before finishing second at the Singapore Open.
However, the four events he has played since then have been less of a success. He finished 21st at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am, before missing the cut at the Northern Trust Open. Spieth improved in his last two tournaments, making the top twenty at both the WGC Cadillac Championship and the Valspar Championship.
Spieth’s results have not been as dominant as they were last year in the past few months, but the fact that people are calling this a slump shows just what a talent he is. Most golfers would see consecutive top twenty finishes as a sign of consistency, not a crisis. Spieth may go into every tournament he plays as one of the favourites, but to expect him to be competition at the top of the leaderboard in every event he plays in is putting far too much pressure on the young American.
It is worth remembering that Spieth is still only 22 and if he retired tomorrow he would be able to say he had an incredibly successful career. No golfer has gone through their career without missing a cut and Spieth, no matter how talented he is, is no different. Spieth has a right to feel angry at the criticism he has received but he should also take it as a compliment that such great things are expected from him.
In many ways, Spieth will be pleased to be going through a rough patch now. He will be confident he can get back to his best by the time the Majors come around, and if he does then there is no reason why he can’t add to the two Majors he picked up last year. Golf fans will be hoping Spieth, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day can all perform at their best this season, and with so many talented players currently on tour, this is looking like it could well be a golden era for golf.