Red-hot Masters fancy Jordan Spieth says his Emirates Australian Open victory was the turning point in his career.
The Texan, who gunned down a world-class field at The Australian Golf Club in November with a breath-taking final-round 63, said today that magical round had taught him how to win.
Spieth, 21, has since rocketed to No.4 in the world rankings with two more victories on American soil (including the unofficial Hero World Challenge) and five other top-10 finishes in just nine events.
“I think the Australian Open may have been the most important tournament that I've ever played in because at the time, it had been maybe a year and a half since winning the (2013) John Deere (Classic) in that playoff where I kind of squeaked in, luckily,” Spieth said at Augusta National, where he was runner-up on his Masters debut last year, one of eight runner-up finishes for the season.
“And going (to Sydney) to an elite field with the world No.1 player (Rory McIlroy) and obviously with the local favorites with Adam (Scott) … and then with a venue like The Australian, (to) put myself in a position and just had a level of patience that I had not had when I was in contention prior to that (was a key lesson).
“I was trying to want it too bad, trying to get off to too fast of a start and not realising the length of a round and how a final round in contention can almost feel like two rounds and you have to maintain the same patience the whole way.
“That's what we did that day, didn't let anything get to us – the roars in front, the scoreboard changes.
“And I shot arguably the best round I've ever played when tied for the lead.
“So it was a huge, huge boost for me and it allowed me to close the tournament, close it the right way and feel comfortable with the lead when I had it the next week (the World Challenge) and since.”
Spieth’s recent win in the Valspar Championship made him just the fourth player since 1940 to win twice on the US PGA Tour before turning 22.