Jordan Spieth, in an endorsement of the attitude that has propelled him towards greatness, will not pause to reflect on past glories when he returns to Augusta National next week.
Spieth won the 2015 Masters in stunning style, tying the 72-hole scoring record of 18 under par and finishing four clear of the field. Speaking at the Shell Houston Open, the last tournament before the first major of the year, the 22-year-old made it clear he is of a mind to look forward rather than back.
“I won’t be celebrating whatsoever next week,” Spieth said. “The champions’ dinner will be a great honour. I won’t consider it a celebration. That week is solely about the 2016 Masters to me.
“It’s the first of four majors this year; that is our ultimate focus and what we plan to peak around every single year. It’s a major; you only get four a year. That’s kind of where your legacy is left in golf.
“We had a correct formula last year. I think that we can just kind of use that again, and I don’t think I have to guard against much because I don’t think it will feel much different. It might just feel a little bit more comfortable possibly but who knows. I’ll let you know when I’m there.”
Spieth conceded being a Masters winner was not something he grasped as fully as should have been the case. “I think I took a little bit for granted, having the Green Jacket in my possession,” he said. “I really took advantage of it to start and then it was in my closet for the longest of times. I really want it again so I can take it out more. Not to necessarily wear it more; I would always obviously go in and look at it but I feel like I could do more with it. I feel like I could take advantage of it a little bit more.
“Wearing the title as the current Masters champion is something that when it eventually goes away, hopefully it waits a few years, but if it eventually goes away, it’s going to be something that won’t be as fun.”
Spieth seems perfectly relaxed about the loss of his world No1 status to Jason Day. “He certainly deserves that position right now,” the Texan said.
And yet, in what will serve as another warning to the rest of the Masters field, Spieth believes the work recently carried out alongside his coach, Cameron McCormick, offers much cause for optimism. Spieth also won last year’s US Open and came within a shot of joining the play-off at the Open.
“I feel like I would be a better player if I were in contention next week than I was last year – and even this week – having the success from last year and also the failures,” Spieth said. “We had both last year. Just those experiences I think make me an overall better mental player under tough conditions or nerve-racking conditions.
“Everything is there. I was working with Cameron on Monday and Tuesday. Everything is exactly where it was last year. It’s right where we want it to be going into the Masters. It’s just a matter now of hitting nerve-racking shots and putts before that week, which means I have got to get myself into contention this week.
“The reason I say that I would like to get into contention is because that will just build a little bit more confidence. That can’t hurt. A little bit more confidence in my game, not in me personally, but a little more confidence in the state of my game presently.”
Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson, Sergio García and Henrik Stenson are also in the field in Houston.
This article was written by Ewan Murray, for theguardian.com on Wednesday 30th March 2016 21.51 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010