With another underwhelming performance in a major, Jordan Spieth is under more scrutiny than ever.
And he thinks it’s unfair.
Spieth closed his post-round media availability by fielding a question about the view of his game overall this year. He responded with an arms-crossed monologue about how he is being held to a new standard due to his stellar performance in 2015.
He’s not wrong. Spieth entered the year as the No. 1 ranked player in the world with two major championships under his belt. SI covers and new endorsement deals flowed in, and he was seen as the new face of golf. The standard he was judged by was elevated accordingly.
This season, Spieth has played in 15 events and has two victories, one second and one third-place finish, along with two missed cuts. He’s had moments of brilliance mixed with inconsistent play, highlighted most memorably by his back-nine collapse at the Masters. For an above-average player, it would be seen as a productive season, but Spieth has quickly elevated himself above that tier.
After his 10th-straight major round without breaking par, Spieth said he has been receiving more negative questions about his game than he expects and has allowed himself to get more frustrated off the golf course. He’s currently tied for 51st after a third-round 72 at Royal Troon.
BRITISH OPEN: Full Leaderboard from Royal Troon
You need to read the entire quote for full effect:
“It’s been tough given I think it’s been a solid year and I think had last year not happened I’d be having a lot of positive questions. Instead most of the questions I get are comparing to last year and, therefore, negative because it’s not to the same standard. So that’s almost tough to then convince myself that you’re having a good year when nobody else really — even if you guys think it is, the questions I get make me feel like it’s not. So I think that’s a bit unfair to me, but don’t feel sorry for me. I’ll still be OK. But I would appreciate if people would look at the positives over comparing to maybe hopefully what would happen to me a few times in my career a year like last year. Or I would say a few times it’s happened less than a dozen times to anybody in golf ever in a year. So it seems a bit unfair at 22 to be expecting something like that all the time.
“For me I set the expectations high for myself, but I feel like I’ve been getting a little more frustrated off the golf course than normal. My game feels like it’s rounding into shape though. Ball striking has really let me down this year, and I’ve been actually striking the ball better and better coming from the first round of Akron to the final round, and then this week I felt like I’ve hit the ball really, really well. And as good as my putting has been this year, which is pretty much the same standard as last year, it just wasn’t there this week. If it’s there this week and I’m on the right end of the draw, I’m hitting it well enough to be at or really near the lead.”