Jordan Spieth Shows Up Strong and in Second Place at the British Open

Never inform Jordan Spieth that he’s again.

“I hate that, ‘He’s back,’ ” he mentioned final month. “I never went anywhere.”

True, he nonetheless strolled the grounds at PGA Tour occasions in current seasons however Spieth, a former world No. 1 in males’s golf, had fallen to 92nd in the rankings simply six months in the past. The winner of three main championships earlier than he was 24, he had not gained a match of any form in 4 years. Moreover, he seemed and sounded misplaced, a well-recognized state in his occupation and a situation that may turn into everlasting.

Then on Sunday in the last spherical at the British Open, Spieth was the greatest menace to catch the eventual champion, Collin Morikawa. Spieth would fall two strokes in need of the precocious Morikawa, who has now gained twice in solely eight main championship appearances.

Neither muscular nor swashbuckling, Morikawa, 24, wins with a mix of calm and élan, very like Spieth did when he gained two majors in his first 10 begins from 2015 to 2017.

“That was about as upset as I’ve taken a finish of a round to the house,” Spieth said of the return to his rental home on Saturday evening. Inside the door, Spieth asked: “Is there something that I can break?”

While his putter was nearby, he instead used it to practice. Still, his Sunday start was unnerving rather than rejuvenating. But his mind-set at the moment is more evidence that Spieth — here’s that word again — may indeed be back.

“At that point I said, ‘OK, now we’re going for everything, and we’re going to see what happens,’ ” Spieth explained. Newly aggressive, he made an eagle, four birdies and 11 pars, finishing with a four-under par 66. Spieth looked in control and intensely aware of what he needed to do to put himself in contention.

“I did everything I could,” he said. “I holed the putts I needed to hole and hit some shots that are still uncomfortable for me — still have some scar tissue, still getting things back in gear.

“But I’m proud of going six-under in the last 12 holes of this golf tournament and of putting some pressure on Collin.”

He smiled and appeared at ease, something he was not at major championships last year.

Spieth in that period was constantly tinkering with his swing. He was besieged by unsolicited mechanical advice and introspective counsel on how to revamp his mental approach. It felt as if everyone in the golf world had an opinion about what Spieth needed to do to regain the golden touch that produced the magical three major titles he won from 2015 to 2017.

To his credit, Spieth did not listen much, never lost his composure and he did not grow curt with those whose job it is to ask questions about what was going wrong.

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