It’s a head game. That’s pretty much golf to a T. Sure, there’s talent involved, but talent doesn’t always win out or guys like John Daly and David Duval would have 10 majors each. Supremely talented players like Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott, and Dustin Johnson would win every single week if the game was based solely on talent. Jordan Spieth isn’t the most talented golfer in the world, but despite being only 22 years old, he’s the most headstrong. His mental fortitude is what has him with two majors under his belt and a #2 world ranking. That’s why his collapse on the back 9 at Augusta is so shocking.
Bogey, bogey, quadruple bogey over a 3 hole stretch at a major aren’t unheard of, especially on a Sunday. For a guy like Spieth that tends to outlast others and let them make the mistakes, his two in the water and then one in the bunker on 12 were shocking for a guy that had birdied the same hole just one day earlier.
Spieth is the golfer that doesn’t melt down. He’s not Van de Velde, Norman, or Dufner. He’s the guy that doesn’t collapse, doesn’t relinquish big leads, and doesn’t falter under pressure. On Sunday he did, and it’s a reminder that winning a major requires complete and total mental control for 72 holes.
Arnold Palmer was more talented that Jack Nicklaus, but Jack had the stronger head. That’s why the Golden Bear is considered the greatest ever. He didn’t falter in high pressure situations and parlayed that into 18 majors. Spieth is like Jack, and that’s why Sunday’s meltdown is as big a head-scratcher as you’ll find in the history of golf.