Jeffries: Choke at the Open - Nope!
The day after the finish at the Open, by the water cooler, I overheard some chatter about Jordan Spieth choking it away. I'll tell you nothing could be further from the truth.
Maybe some people are mad that the kid didn't get into the playoff, or they blew their wad on Draft Kings.
Granted the playoff would have been more compelling if Spieth had gotten in, but plain and simple, he got beat, and he really didn't beat himself.
Golf is a weird game, just when you think you're on cruise control, BAM! A bad bounce, lip out, tough lie in a divot in the middle of the fairway - I could go on and on, something is always around the corner to even things out.
Yes, the four jack on #8 hurt, but he made up the strokes and put himself in position and tied again for the lead. The hole that really cost him was the bogey on #17, which forced him to birdie #18 if he were to have a shot.
As far as #18, it was just a pull, he even said he was trying to lay up to a comfortable number, (something a lot of weekend hacks would be better off doing instead of swinging out of their shoes trying to do something they're not capable of - I think I covered that in an earlier blog); but instead short sided himself where it was impossible to stick it close. As it is, he almost made it off the green with the putter.
Instead, it's time to give credit where it's due.
Zach Johnson has long been overlooked.
He has ice water in his veins and continues to step on the gas, even with the lead down the stretch. That's something all true champions do.
The trouble is, I don't think he really "wants it", big picture wise as bad as Spieth and the other "whiz kid" almost 20 years ago.
Matter of fact, here's a fun stat.
Kyle Porter from CBS did the math.
Tiger's first 10 majors as a pro: 3 top 5's/1 win
Spieth's first 10 majors as a pro: 4 top 5's/2 wins
Now a lot has to happen, but if there's anybody out there who has that "mental toughness" that Tiger did back in the day, it's this kid.
I'm still not ready to crown him... yet.
But, down the road, wouldn't surprise me at all if this Jordan's just like Mike.
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