By Andrew Both
AUGUSTA, Ga. (Reuters) – Jordan Spieth has rocketed into the Masters conversation, suddenly one of the betting favourites after his drought-busting win at the Texas Open on Sunday.
Barely an afterthought only a few days ago, the 2015 champion all of a sudden is anything but, with his odds around 10/1 as he gears up in a quest to add a second Green Jacket to his wardrobe.
His victory on Sunday was his first on the PGA Tour since the 2017 British Open, and the former world number one says the best is yet to come.
“I don’t feel that I have the control of all facets of my game that I want to have yet, but I’m working in the right direction,” Spieth said at Augusta National on Monday, looking serenely relaxed barely 18 hours removed from his win.
“There’s a next level that I’ve been at that I’m still searching for right now.
“I just feel like there’s quite a few things that I still need to really improve on and get better, and I felt that over the weekend it wasn’t the best my swing felt.”
Three-times major champion Spieth plummeted to 107th in the PGA Tour standings last year as his swing and confidence deserted him, but has been on an upward trajectory this year, though without putting it all together for four days until now.
Augusta National was already firm and fiery on a sun-splashed Monday, the greens taking on a shiny sheen under conditions that should suit a player with Spieth’s deft short game touch should the humidity remain low and the rain stay away.
Last year’s Masters was played without spectators in November, after being postponed from its traditional April timeslot due to the novel coronavirus.
But a limited number of fans have been allowed this year, with an estimated 7500 or so on the grounds on Monday, a far cry from the usual practice round crush of some 50,000 but plenty enough to give the hallowed grounds some atmosphere.
“I love being here,” Spieth, 27, said. “It’s my favourite tournament in the world.
“I think the patrons play such a massive role into this tournament, the echoes, the roars down in the valley, and especially come the weekend, it won’t take many people for it to feel close enough to normal to be a fantastic event.”
(Reporting by Andrew Both; Editing by Christian Radnedge)