Golf

Spieth looking forward to shedding Austin hoodoo

Former world No. 1 Jordan Spieth said he can't wait to get next month's US Masters out of the way - because he's fed up with being asked about his nightmare collapse at Augusta last year.

The 23-year-old Texan appeared to be cruising to back-to-back Masters titles 12 months ago after opening up a five-shot lead with nine holes to play on the final Sunday in Georgia.

But his bid for history went up in flames with consecutive bogeys, followed by a quadruple bogey on Augusta's 12th, allowing England's Danny Willett to grab the famous green jacket.

Spieth's meltdown has been described as the biggest collapse in Masters history, and a year later, he is looking forward to the time when he is no longer asked about his implosion.

"No matter what happens at this year's Masters, whether I can grab the jacket back or I miss the cut or I finish 30th, it will be nice having this Masters go by," he said, ahead of this week's World Golf Championship-Dell Match Play tournament in Austin, Texas.

"The Masters lives on for a year. It brings a non-golf audience into golf. And it will be nice once this year's finished, to be brutally honest.

"It would be best if I could reclaim the jacket but I believe I'll be back up there sooner or later because of the way I play the golf course, the success I've had and the comfort level I have there.

"Whether it happens this year or not, it will just be nice when it's over, because that tournament, it's a 365-day thing. There's no other Masters.

"I won in Colonial three starts later. So as far as affecting me when I'm in a tournament, I think that answer is clear, it doesn't do that.

"But as far as just having all the questions be done, I'm pretty sure they will be."

Spieth faces Ryan Moore and Japan's Yuta Ikeda and Hideto Tanihara in his first-round group this week.

World No. 3 Jason Day, meanwhile, is backing Spieth not to be unduly affected by last year's Augusta collapse when he returns to the course next month.

"He's young enough and talented enough that it won't even affect him," Day said.

"Obviously, it hurt and stung at the time.

"But I think he's done pretty good with his career thus far, and I think he's going to have a lot more opportunities to win Augusta, green jackets and other major championships."

Day and Marc Leishman, fresh off a victory at Bay Hill, are the two Australians in the WGC-Dell Match Play tournament. They have been grouped with England's Lee Westwood and American Pat Perez.

In-form Dustin Johnson, who has won on his last two starts, has been grouped with US PGA Championship title holder Jimmy Walker, twice Major winner Martin Kaymer and former US Open champion Webb Simpson. - AFP

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