AWSI: The Masters, Spieth Splash(es) and Shaking it off…


For this post, we’re handing over the controls to Annie who has some very valid points about what she witnessed during The Masters golf tournament.

Thanks, guys!

You’ve probably heard about the brutal 12th hole of the Masters when Jordan Spieth fell to earth with “a mistake he never makes,” but one that those of us who do play golf, have done more times than we’d like to remember.

Yeah, he dunked not one but two shots into “the drink” on the Par 3, 12th hole and then proceeded to putt really badly to fall out of the lead.


Spieth's Bad routing

Spieth’s Bad routing

On the plus side, mentally recovered and finished in second place. But since more is better and back-to-back is “best,” there were folks at the proverbial water cooler dishing on and dissecting his “collapse.”

I know what I saw… in golf, $#it happens. That’s a long period of time to keep your mind focused on the target / path.

…And indeed there will be time
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”

…Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse…

From The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliott


The next person who walks up to me and says Spieth choked is going to get punched in the throat.

That wasn’t a choke any more than when Ernie Els managed to six-putted from two feet on his very first hole of The Masters.


Per an article in The Wall Street Journal, Els chalked it up to “heebie-jeebies.”

The piece by John Paul Newport included this:

With hindsight, Els blamed his Masters disaster on last-minute tweaks to his stroke. “I was trying some new stuff, can you believe it, from Tuesday onwards. I thought it might be something in the right direction, but obviously it wasn’t,” he said. For the second round, he said, he went back to the stroke he had been using successfully since December, and shot a 73, only two off the best round of the day. The trauma from his six-putt may or may not prove lasting, but the lesson for amateurs is clear: getting comfortable with any new stroke takes time.

Trying new stuff, eh? Sound familiar?

If not, let’s look at Exhibit B: Mr. Phil Mickelson

During the Pro-Am at Pebble Beach in February, where he was sailing along with rounds of 68, 65, 66, he decided to fly in his swing coach (Andrew Getson who replaced Butch Harmon late last year), for a quick session before the final round.

Yet Mickelson said he didn’t feel comfortable Saturday and made a call to Getson to fly into Pebble Beach so they could get in some work before the final round. That speaks volumes about how badly Mickelson wants to win here again. If he was mired in 15th place, his teacher probably wouldn’t have been summoned to class.

He ended up closing with a 72, which earned him second place.


Yeah, it doesn’t take much to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

So back to Jordan Spieth. To the casual viewer, he was a lock to win. However, on the back 9 of his final round, Spieth changed what he was doing.

I was playing a dream-come-true front nine. I knew par was good enough and maybe that was what hurt me. I wasn’t quite aggressive enough. Just a lapse in concentration on 12, and it cost me.


In a way, perhaps he played not to lose instead of to win. Always (ALWAYS!) a recipe for failure. Been there, done that — not on a golf course, but on the track when I was “a lock” to win the State Championship in the 2-mile. That’s still an ouch.

The Foreshadowing SI/ Profile on Spieth

For those with really short memories, take a look at the piece Sports Illustrated / did on Spieth’s run at Match Play that took place in his “hometown” of Austin, Texas.


S.L. Price wrote:

He may have been 3 up on Donaldson, but as he later put it, he was “brain-dead,” too often pulling the wrong club and being too aggressive. As if to demonstrate, he sent his tee shot sailing into a fairway bunker, then led the Junkies down toward the Pennybacker Bridge. He put his second shot at the par-5 in the water.

Brain dead? Pulling the wrong club?

Sound familiar?

Lost his “Still” Place

Another thought that crossed my mind was something our Joey here talked about that really resonated with me — losing your “still place.”  Here’s the section from “A Fire in the Mind.”


A huge part of the mental endurance contest of navigating a golf course’s 18-holes is finding a way to maintain that still place. Locking into a song does it for me.

Not the End of the World:

The S.L. Price article also included this:

Spieth’s knack for shaking off bad swings, holes, rounds in punishing fashion; the 68 he shot after that 79 at Riviera is as much a signature as anything he scribbles on a golf ball. “I’ve never seen bounce-backs like his,” says Cody Gribble, Spieth’s longtime friend and former teammate at Texas. “If he makes a mistake, you can guarantee a fire has just been lit on his ass—and he’ll just go.”

The fact that he bounced back from a bad string of holes to finish second at The Masters is a proof point for sure.

There’s a song for that. Scroll down to see it / hear it.

Good for Golf

In times like these, when I’m in that “punch ‘em in the throat” mood, I turn the the master: Alister Mackenzie to keep things in perspective.

Golf is a game, and talk and discussion is all to the interests of the game. Anything that keeps the game alive and prevents us being bored with it is an advantage. Anything that makes us think about it, talk about it, and dream about it is all to the good and prevents the game becoming dead.

He’s got that right!

Thanks for reading and #SCMF!


Here’s the perfect, “dancing off the stage” song to close out my guest post. Enjoy!

…It’s like I got this music
In my mind
Saying, “It’s gonna be alright.”

‘Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off…

More on Alister MacKenzie’s thoughts here:


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