Jordan Spieth’s life in the public eye has largely been a charmed one. From junior golf phenom to the inevitable comparisons to Tiger Woods for his prodigious success at the highest levels at such a young age, it’s easy to forget that it hasn’t always been rainbows and gumdrops for “the Golden Child.”
Speaking to the media ahead of this week’s Fort Worth Invitational, Spieth ran through his career arc for the assembled media when asked about the differences in the way he approaches both golf and life.
“It’s been kind of a crazy kind of rolling scale over the last three or four years,” Spieth said. “(I’ve) had a lot of experiences that a lot of guys have over the course of 25 years within three years. Ups and downs and everything in between. The majority of it very positive, but also learning to live in the spotlight and what that entails and what to block out, what to embrace. It’s still a learning experience.”
Spieth explained that he tries to look at the big picture more now than ever before because it’s easy to get caught up in the week-to-week grind and fall victim to outside noise that could have someone thinking that the sky is falling.
Spieth tells media @fortworthinv that ’16 Masters “haunted” him and was a low point in his career. “I let it tear me down a little bit. I kind of lost a little bit of my own freedom, thoughts on who I am as a person and as a golfer.”
— Will Gray (@WillGrayGC) May 23, 2018
In the midst of that explanation, Spieth dropped a bomb that he previously held close to his vest.
“I’ve found the easiest way to enjoy what you’re doing is to try and look at it from a bigger picture and to look each challenge as an opportunity,” he said. “It’s cliche, but I’ve gotten pretty down on myself at certain moments. You know, say, after the ’16 Masters as being like a low point in my golf career.
“Even though it was still a tremendous week and still was a really good year in 2016, that kind of haunted me and all the questioning and everything. I let it tear me down a little bit. I kind of a lost a little bit of my own freedom, thoughts on who I am as a person and as a golfer. I shouldn’t let that happen based on an experience I’ve had happen to me many times. There have been a lot of tournaments where I’ve held leads and not won going back to junior golf.
“Just because it happened to be on a bigger scale and I was thrown into the limelight based on 2015 and just interest in myself, it was created into a huge deal.”
Spieth said going through that experience had led him to a more insular focus when it comes to looking at his career.
“I’ve just tried to really be selfish in the way that I think and focus on being as happy as I possibly can playing the game I love; not getting caught up in noise, good or bad,” Spieth said. “Because what I hear from the outside, the highs are too high from the outside and the lows are too low from the outside from my real experience of them. So trying to stay pretty neutral and just look at the big picture things and try and wake up every single day loving what I do.”