AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) - It may have only been a practice round but Jordan Spieth proved on his return to the site of his U.S. Masters collapse that he has moved on from the disastrous sequence that cost him a win.
Spieth, who was leading the Masters last year until his debacle at the par-three 12th, stuck his tee shot about a foot from the pin on the same hole on Tuesday.
“I really could have used that one about 12 months ago,” an amused Spieth turned and said to the crowd, prompting laughter, before going on to tap in for a birdie.
Those two shots, the first time he has played the hole in front of a crowd since last year, could prove just the tonic for the former world number one as he chases a second Masters title.
Spieth took a five-shot lead into the back nine last year in his bid to become the first player to lead from start to finish at Augusta National in successive years.
The Texan reached the 12th tee with a one-stroke lead and walked off the green after a quadruple-bogey sitting three shots behind new leader and eventual winner Danny Willett.
While Spieth has moved on from the most memorable moment of last year’s Masters, he admits it is one he will not forget.
”It will surely be there and it has been,“ Spieth told a news conference on Tuesday. ”It is one of many tournaments I’ve lost given a certain performance on a hole or a stretch of holes. It happens in this game.
“But I‘m excited about the opportunity ahead, which is now I can go back and really tear this golf course up.”
The 23-year-old world number six has one win and two runner-up finishes in his three Masters appearances.
He enters the year’s first major, which begins on Thursday, with a win and four top-10 finishes this season and said he was not worried about last week’s missed cut in Houston hindering his chances at Augusta National.
“I feel very comfortable out there,” said Spieth.
”I feel like we have it mapped out and, as we dissect the golf course, we know the spots to go, where not to go and therefore the commitment on shots.
“Certain shots you hit versus others, you obviously feel more comfortable, but I feel like we’re freed up because we know where those spots are and where they aren‘t.”
Editing by Ken Ferris