Jordan Spieth insists his expectations are high for this week as he feels his recent results don't tell the whole story about where his game is at.
If there's a tournament where Jordan Spieth is expected to show up and perform, it's The Masters. The 2015 champion has played in the tournament just five times, having had a victory, two runner-up finishes, a third place and a worst result of T11 in 2017.
According to 15th Club's stat guru Justin Ray, Spieth is a combined 39-under-par at The Masters since 2014, which is 12 strokes better than any other player in that span.
And if that stat isn't impressive enough for you, among every player in Masters history with at least 20 career rounds, Jordan is the all-time leader in scoring average (70.05) and strokes gained per round (3.26). Tiger Woods is second in each of those statistics. Last year, he shot a final-round 64 (bogeying the last hole to miss out on the joint course record) and finished two shots behind champion Patrick Reed.
But Jordan's recent results don't read all that promising heading in to this year's edition of the Masters. He was T30 last week and a T24 the Dell Match Play was his best result since September last year, which highlights a real dip in form that has left him without a win since the 2017 Open and has seen him fall to World No.33.
Yet Spieth insists his game is in a much better place than his results might look.
"My expectations are high this week," Spieth said on Tuesday at the Masters. "I feel great about the state of my game right now. I feel like my recent results aren't a tell of where my game is actually at, and I feel I've made a lot of strides in the last couple days in the tee‑to‑green game, really just off the tee, my long game, which has been the only separation from being able to win golf tournaments over the last month or so.
"So I feel really good about my game, where it's at, heading into this week. It's just a matter of trust in the stuff that I'm working on, and I don't feel like I have to play well. I don't feel like there's any added pressure this week. I feel kind of under the radar, which is really nice, and that changes day‑to‑day out here, though. "
And there is definitely some merit to his claims. The three-time major winner ranks inside the top 16 on Tour for both first and second round scoring this season, and has put himself at the top of the leaderboard on several occasions during the early stages of tournaments this year. He also ranks 29th for birdie average and 4th for putting average, which proves thinks aren't quite as stark on the greens as people suggest.
That being said, he ranks 205th and 208th for third and fourth round scoring, which is only a few places from dead last. But Jordan reckons you shouldn't be that worried about that, because he isn't.
"I've come in here twice after missing cuts in the week before and been in the last group Sunday," Spieth offered up as a compelling argument. "I think the two years I finished second, I missed the cut the week before, which is a little bit unusual, but I wouldn't have said coming in those weeks that I was playing particularly bad. I think it was kind of a fluke the week before, versus this week.
For Spieth, he feels his game is on the rise after experiencing his first winless year for a while, and expects good things are just around the corner.
"I feel like I'm in a good place now of kind of seeing it for what it is," Spieth said about his string of bad results. "Seeing the longevity of the career and how you do go through up‑and‑downs, and everybody does. And its how quickly can you climb out of the lows and how high can you go for the highs, and that's the goal.
"I feel like I'm on the rise right now. That's just the way I feel. I don't think I need results to prove anything otherwise. I know where my game is at and I know that good things are coming soon. "