Washington - Jordan Spieth has struggled all year with
putting woes and swing issues, but the three-time major champion is finding his
form just in time for the Ryder Cup.
The 25-year-old Texan qualified for the US squad that will
defend the trophy against Europe next month in France but he hasn't won since
capturing last year's British Open, beset by troubles in all areas of his game.
"I got pretty far off in my golf swing from the Players
on," Spieth said, starting down a wrong path for weeks in May and June.
"I spent literally two months nailing in the wrong
thing and I was trying to climb back out of it. And that's unusual. I never had
that in my career.
"I've been working the right direction back, just like
with the putting. The putting started to improve around the Players, after the
Masters, but the swing got off.
"So it has been a year of having them both not on at
the same time and I know they are both on the rise, and that feels good."
Spieth made a breakthrough at the Northern Trust event last
week, the start of the US PGA season-ending playoffs that lead into the Ryder
"I really found kind of the setup that I used to putt
with. I've been searching for it for a long time and I found close to 100
percent of it," Spieth said. "I had been making a lot of progress
over the last month with the putter and the results came through."
Spieth went back to videos, analysing and studying head and
body positions in detail to find simple areas where his precision movements
"I went to try and search for it, and it's always the
simplest stuff with us," Spieth said. "But it was more challenging
than I'd like this year."
Spieth, the 2015 Masters and US Open champion, still shone
in the majors despite his season of struggles. He was third at the Masters,
shared ninth at the British Open and shared 12th at the PGA Championship in
trying to complete a Career Grand Slam.
"Actually I had more fun this year than 2016, I would
say. This year, I've done a great job of recognizing and being patient,"
"I wasn't having much fun for the first three months of
the year, and since then, it has not been a bother to me, the results or
anything. I've really kind of embraced how I feel, like I'll be better than
ever going forward because of what I've learned this year."
It's that hint of confidence, sensing a better future after
grinding his way through a difficult campaign, that makes Spieth a force and
one of the world's top-ranked talents.
"Feel like I stepped into the playoffs with my game in
the best shape it has been this entire year," Spieth said. "I feel
like throughout the swing I know where it's at, where it needs to be."
Spieth matched the Masters tournament record of Tiger Woods
in winning the green jacket three years ago and became the youngest US Open
champion since 1923 the same year.
At a time when older stars such as Woods and Phil Mickelson
remain factors and big hitters like Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson win often,
Spieth leads a new generation of US stars.
"The game's in a cool place right now," Spieth
said. "You have a mixture of Tiger and Phil playing awesome golf, DJ being
number one in the world, Bubba back to winning a few times in a year. And then
you have your mid-20s players that are able to compete in any tournament as
"It shows what golf's all about. You can play when
you're eight years old and you can play when you're 80."