Spieth all smiles recalling Masters meltdown
JORDAN Spieth could only smile.
Confronted with a shot on the 12th hole at Augusta in Tuesday practice, the crowds out in force, he stuffed it to a couple of feet.
"I could have used that 12 months ago," he said to the masses who roared.
Spieth, the 2015 Masters champion, has spent the past year dealing with his Sunday collapse at Augusta last April when he dunked two balls in Rae's Creek on the short par three.
He was leading at the time, albeit just after bogeys on 10 and 11 as he went for back-to-back titles.
But he had a seven, a quadruple bogey. In front of the world. And finished second to Danny Willett.
Tuesday wasn't the first time he's played the 12th since, and as an Augusta winner, it won't be the last either.
So the ... year-old Texan has done everything he can to ensure that one mistake, now an infamous one, won't dog him this week, or ever again.
"It is one of many tournaments I've lost given a certain performance on a hole or a stretch of holes. It happens in this game," Spieth said.
"I stepped up today, first day back with the crowds and I hit it to about that (indicating about a foot with his hands) which is nice.
"I've got the opportunity now for the next; again, as many years until the day I get a letter saying, we would appreciate if you sat this one out (laughter).
"I've got that many opportunities to go back and really create more great memories on the back nine of Augusta, which we've had in the past on Sunday.
"And if it happens this year, fantastic. I will do all I can to see all the positives and to grind it out like we did in 2015. And if it doesn't happen this year, then I'll be ready the next year to do it."
Spieth has an imperious record around Augusta, with a win and two second-placed finishes in just three Masters starts.
Augusta is Spieth's happy place, despite the events of last year, and his caddy, Michael Greller, knows it.
Which makes winning, not exercising any past demons, Spieth's only goal this week.
"Just in three years of playing it I've grown as a golfer significantly out here," Spieth said.
"And I felt like I handle situations better out here than other places. I just feel kind of a calmness. That's what Michael tells me.
"It's my favourite tournament. I love being in contention here.
"I've had the luxury of having that every time I've been here and that's not going to happen over the course of decades. And I recognise that.
"But don't tell me that during the week because I believe that it can happen every time."