Jordan Spieth spent half a year—26 weeks of his career—at the top of the world rankings, but his recent fall has taken him outside of the top 50. What has gone wrong for the American player?
Two and a half years after winning the third of his three majors at the 2017 Open Championship at Royal Birkdale, Spieth’s loss of form has seen him plummet down the Official World Golf Rankings.
His tied 55th place finish in the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in January confirmed the American’s loss his status as a top 50 player—a period spanning six years—as he dropped to 51st on the list.
It continued a downward spiral over the last two seasons, and things got even worse as a missed cut at the Waste Management Phoenix Open saw him slip to 55th in the OWGR standings.
Jordan Spieth—an up and coming talent in 2013
It seems a long way since Jordan Spieth emerged as one of the biggest up and coming talents when he became the fourth youngest PGA TOUR as he lifted the John Deere Classic title at the age of 19 in 2013, before dominating golf in 2015. That was the year he won the Masters and US Open and finished runner-up in the USPGA Championship, before ending the year being crowned FedExCup champion.
Two wins in 2016 was followed by three more in 2017, including the victory in the Open Championship. Since then, however, it has been nothing but downhill for the now 26-year-old with a failure to make the end of season Tour Championship in the last two years and having recorded just one top five finish since the Open three years ago. Not even his marriage to long-term girlfriend Annie Verret in 2018 has managed to arrest the slide.
Signs of change for Jordan Spieth
So what has gone wrong for Jordan Spieth? There were early signs when he blew a potential second successive Masters in 2016 with a Sunday meltdown. But it has been with the putter, so often what separated Spieth from his contemporaries, where the big losses have been seen.
During the 2015 season, Spieth was ranked ninth in the strokes gained with the putter. That became second best in 2016. By 2018, the year of the start of his demise, Spieth was 123rd best in the same statistic. That same season he went from seventh to 181st in the fewest three putts category.
Last year, Spieth was back to a red-hot putter as he ended the PGA TOUR season second only to Denny McCarthy in the strokes gained putting stats. But it was the driver that deserted him this time, sitting at 183rd in the driving accuracy stakes as another area of his game failed to shine like it did during the height of Spieth’s success.
Jordan Spieth talked of getting the consistency back into his game when he said last season: “I’m just trying to get a little more consistent. I’ve putted really well, but I’ve just had those tee balls that are costing me a chance to win golf tournaments.”