In position to win, Spieth keeps learning

Think you’re a good bunker player? Try hitting bunker shots with a 6-iron. This drill makes standard bunker shots look easy
by comparison, Smith said. It also forces
a player to focus on fundamentals.
Smith said he has a tendency to
overlook basics such as ball position
during long practice sessions. The only
way to be successful with the 6-iron is
to keep the ball forward in his stance,
where it should be during standard sand shots, Smith said. The 6-iron, with its lack
of loft and bounce, also forces Smith to
keep the face open through impact, just
like a standard sand shot.
“If you watch the great bunker players,
it’s like they’re lighting a match in the
bunker, the club is moving so fast,”
Smith said. “That’s what you have to do
with the 6-iron. You can’t hesitate. You have
to get under the ball quick and have to leave the club under the ball.”

In position to win, Spieth keeps learning

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In position to win, Spieth keeps learning

If it’s all about learning, gaining experience, and getting a feel for what it takes to win, consider this 2013-14 season to be a smashing success already for Jordan Spieth.

He played in the final group Sunday for the fourth time in 2013-14. While he hasn’t won, only the strictest of markers would give him poor grades. Those four efforts:

  • Hyundai: Shot 69, finished second.
  • Farmers: Shot 74, finished T-19.
  • Masters: Shot 72, finished T-2.
  • Players: Shot 74, finished T-4.

Five times already this season, Spieth has had at least a share of the lead after a round and he’s been in the final group on the weekend a total of six times. His scoring average for those six rounds is 72.66. Cynics might use those numbers to argue that Spieth has trouble in pressure situations, but at some point could we remind one another that he would be a junior in college had he stayed at the University of Texas.

“Twenty years old? I can’t get my head around that,” Graeme McDowell said.

See all of Jim McCabe’s PGA Tour notes this week right here.

The man from Northern Ireland played alongside Spieth for two days at The Players Championship and was effusive in his praise.

“He’s not going to wow you like a Rory McIlroy. He doesn’t hit the ball and you say, ‘Wow, this guy is something special.’ I think that’s what makes him great. He’s so rounded.

“Drives it good. Not amazing. Hits his irons good. Not amazing. Chips really well. Not amazing. He’s not Phil Mickelson around the greens. Putts really well. He’s not Ben Crenshaw. Then you add it all up and you go, ‘Wow, this kid’s a really good player.’ “

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