By any normal person's standards, Jordan Spieth hasn't had a bad start at all to 2016. In seven starts, he has one victory, one second place, and a further top-five finish. By the standards of a man who won the first two majors of last year and picked up seven titles, earning over $23 million in prize money, however, he's in a bit of a slump.
A disappointing T-21 at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am was followed by a missed cut at the Northern Trust Open. Since then, Spieth has laboured to T-17 and T-18 finishes in his last two outings, the WGC-Cadillac Championship and the Valspar Championship.
World number three Jason Day thinks he knows the root of the problem.
“I’m worried about him because I don’t know if he’s playing too much and he’s doing too many things with golf and sponsor obligations," said Day. "He may get burned out and go through a rut where he doesn’t want to be on the golf course for a while."
“Everyone goes through that," added Day, who broke his major duck at last year's PGA Championship. "I’ve told a few people on my team I’m kind of worried about him because of what he’s kind of putting himself under.
“He’s played a lot of golf, especially the last few years. You can look at his world ranking and how many events he’s played over the last couple years and you can see that he’s kind of wearing himself out.”
Spieth has this week off, skipping the Arnold Palmer Invitational before returning to action at next week's WGC-Dell Match Play. The world number one then has two weeks to prepare for the 2016 Masters, as he attempts to defend his title at Augusta National.