Sports

Spieth: 'I'm beating myself up'

After missing the cut at Players Championship, Spieth believes he should lower expectations

After missing the cut yesterday morning (Singapore time) at the US PGA Players Championship, world No. 2 Jordan Spieth said that he needed to lower his expectations.

The 22-year-old American, struggling with his putter, opened on 72 and followed with a 71 to stand on one-under 143, stroke over the cut line, to miss the last 36 holes for the second year in a row at TPC Sawgrass in Florida.

"I'm beating myself up a little too much on the course and it's affecting me.

"I need to lower my expectations a little bit. It seems I'm a little tense," said Spieth, in his first event since squandering a back-nine Sunday to lose last month's US Masters.

Spieth, who defends his US Open crown next month at Oakmont, downplayed the notion he could be in a funk after his Masters meltdown, which denied him a second consecutive wire-to-wire win at Augusta National and handed England's Danny Willett a first Major crown.

"I don't think there's much of a connection to the Masters. I just didn't putt well," Spieth said.

MISERABLE

Adding to Spieth's pain, he was playing alongside top-ranked Jason Day as the Australian fired a 36-hole course record of 15-under 129 - matching the 18-hole mark of 63 before completing a 66 after storms and darkness delayed the end of round two on Saturday morning (Singapore time).

Spieth, 22, looked as miserable watching the Aussie sink his birdies the first two rounds as he did handing over the Green Jacket to Willett as a global audience watched on television.

"It's tough when you are getting shellacked by 15 shots in the same group," Spieth said.

"You see all those birdies going in and you wonder why you aren't making any of them. It's tough seeing every hole being birdied and not being able to do much about it. I'm striking the ball great. I just need to grind on my short game."

Spieth also said he needs to have more fun during rounds and change his attitude if he hopes to approach the success he enjoyed last season, when he won the year's first two Majors, shared fourth at the British Open and was the PGA Championship runner-up to Day.

Yesterday morning, Day battled through horrid putting conditions and a poor start to shoot a 73 and lead by four shots after three rounds.

Day, seeking his second wire-to-wire victory of the season and seventh title in 17 starts, finished 54 holes on 14-under 202.

Players ripped the greens as all but unfair as TPC Sawgrass produced only six sub-par scores, matching its all-time low for any round and sparking major complaints from the world's top golfers.

"I've never gone over putts where I've had to lag a 10-foot putt and not try to hole it," Day said. "That's the first time in my career I've had to do that.

Third-ranked Rory McIlroy was even harsher, saying: "That was borderline unfair on a few holes. A few pin positions were on crowns. You dribble a putt past the hole and it's six feet by."

Sergio Garcia's putting woes plumbed to new depths when he six-putted the fifth hole yesterday morning.

Japan's Hideki Matsuyama, Germany's Alex Cejka and American Ken Duke shared second on 206 with Italy's Francesco Molinari on 207. South African Retief Goosen and American Kevin Chappell shot 70 to reach 208. - Wire Services.

"It’s tough when you are getting shellacked by 15 shots in the same group." - Jordan Spieth

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