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Vinsk

Will Jordan Spieth Come Back?

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56 minutes ago, Yukari said:

I agree with this assessment.

I would like to see him comeback to his old form, but I highly doubt it.  Once that doubt creeps in, it is hard to get back to the old self.   JMHO.

His old form was really about sticking approach shots close and not the putting. When he was on that streak, he was dropping iron shots very close. That is what he needs to return to and I think it can be hard, but achievable. 

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16 minutes ago, p1n9183 said:

I have to go with mental issues aswell.

Absolutely not.

Not at all.

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Not really a Spieth fan but I think he will come around. He's actually put some descent rounds together here lately (just not four rounds in a row). 

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47 minutes ago, p1n9183 said:

but he was really strong mentally speaking.

Pretty hard to assess that really. And if you asked that friend who played with him and made that claim what would he say? ‘His ball striking was below average but he was mentally strong.’ Ok. Meaning what? Because whatever answer he would give would probably be reflective of how Spieth is acting and has been acting this whole time. 

Spieth is struggling with his mechanics. I don’t his mental state has anything to do with how he’s playing. It may play a role in how he’s responding to his swing troubles. But I don’t believe his playing troubles are a mental issue by any means.

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At the PGA, Spieth only gained .7 strokes off the tee, lost a little approach to the green, gained a stroke around the green, and gained a whopping 10.6 strokes on the field in putting (1st place in putting).  He gained 12 strokes on the field in total and where did he finish?  

We remember the dominance he had and he was a world beater because he hit the fairway and hit the green (often close) and made every putt.  I think he lost his swing trying to hit the ball longer.  Noble pursuit as he knows distance is so important.  He was trying to improve in the long term to prolong his career.  Look at Tiger and Phil.  They’re still competing out there with these young guns because they have length.  Phil is crooked as ever, but he still has distance to compete (his drive accuracy notwithstanding).  If Tiger hits the fairway, you can’t beat him.  He is the greatest iron player ever and we all know that.  That’s why JS went after distance because as he ages, he will become irrelevant quickly.  Rory, DJ, BK, and those guys will play into their 40s because of their prodigious length.  J Rose went under a similar pursuit that led to him winning the US Open a few years ago and obtaining the world number 1 spot until this week.  J Rose is also a renown ball striker.

Maybe JS is getting back.  He's playing well and maybe he can keep it going and get back in contention.

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My opinion on some pga golfers who play championship golf for a period of time, is that they get lazy. This, if there is nothing physically wrong with their game. Rather they do this consciously, or subconsciously might be a toss up. 

They put a few million bucks in the bank, and start living on easy street. They are set for life. 

Also, with sponsor's endorsement contracts continually paying them big bucks, there is really no reason for them to play excellent golf for that million dollar payday. any more. Just their name is making them money. Are tournaments still paying guaranteed appearance fees?

Making the cut, and collecting a paycheck is good enough for some of them. 

Obviously, not all pros are of that mindset. Tiger Woods readily comes to mind. I remember he once said he didn't care about the money side of golf, or the world rankings. That winning takes care of all that. 

As for Spieth, it is possible that due to family concerns, he has lost his edge. Will he come back to his championship form? Yeah, I think so...eventually. 

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It’s not mental nor is it laziness or complacency.

It’s mechanical. He knows it. Cam knows it.

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1 minute ago, ncates00 said:

At the PGA, Spieth only gained .7 strokes off the tee, lost a little approach to the green, gained a stroke around the green, and gained a whopping 10.6 strokes on the field in putting (1st place in putting).  He gained 12 strokes on the field in total and where did he finish?  

We remember the dominance he had and he was a world beater because he hit the fairway and hit the green (often close) and made every putt.  I think he lost his swing trying to hit the ball longer.  Noble pursuit as he knows distance is so important.  He was trying to improve in the long term to prolong his career.  Look at Tiger and Phil.  They’re still competing out there with these young guns because they have length.  Phil is crooked as ever, but he still has distance to compete (his drive accuracy notwithstanding).  If Tiger hits the fairway, you can’t beat him.  He is the greatest iron player ever and we all know that.  That’s why JS went after distance because as he ages, he will become irrelevant quickly.  Rory, DJ, BK, and those guys will play into their 40s because of their prodigious length.  J Rose went under a similar pursuit that led to him winning the US Open a few years ago and obtaining the world number 1 spot until this week.  J Rose is also a renown ball striker.

Maybe JS is getting back.  He's playing well and maybe he can keep it going and get back in contention.

Well we all know the importance of distance  for sure. But it seems odd that after 2015 JS would think his play needed improvement. You’d think he’d realize his current game at that time was more than efficient to compete. What made you think he tried to improve his distance? Did this come out somewhere?

1 minute ago, iacas said:

It’s not mental nor is it laziness or complacency.

I agree. Certainly not with someone like JS.

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It’s also worthwhile to remember how slim the margins are at the PGA level. These are the absolute best of the best. The difference between winning five times in a year and ending up with no wins and five top-tens is incredibly slim.

 

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Shot 65 today. So that’s encouraging. He seems to be moving in the right direction. Question is whether he can maintain it for a period of time.

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On 4/22/2019 at 10:40 AM, DeadMan said:

But Spieth, on his game, is as good of as of a ball striker as anybody out there (sans Tiger, I suppose). It wasn't his putting or short game that made him special, it was his iron play. 

On 4/22/2019 at 3:49 PM, Wally Fairway said:

And as renowned as he was for dropping bombs on the putting surface, his approach shots and greenside game was what kept him in the hunt for many events.

1 hour ago, boogielicious said:

His old form was really about sticking approach shots close and not the putting. When he was on that streak, he was dropping iron shots very close. That is what he needs to return to and I think it can be hard, but achievable. 

I disagree with these statements, especially for the 2015 and 2016 seasons, which account for 7 wins and 2 majors.

In 2015 he gained almost the same amount of strokes from his iron play as his putting, and in 2016 he gained significantly more strokes with his putting than his iron play. That flipped in 2017, but IMO a 1 year sample size isn't enough to claim that it was his iron play that made him special.

Here are some of his stats by season.

2015

Off the tee 15th (+.494)

Approach the green 11th (+.618)

Around the green 7th (+.471)

Putting 9th (+.571)

 27% on 15-25 foot putts, while the tour average was 16%

T26 in proximity to the hole from the fairway

49th in GIR %

 

 

2016

Off the tee 32nd (+.402)

Approach the green 87th (+.145)

Around the green 24th (+.264)

Putting  2nd (+.758)

24% on 15-25 feet, while the tour average was 15.6%

T91 in proximity to the hole from the fairway

T145 in GIR %

 

2017 

Off the tee 44th (+.321)

Approach the green 1st (+.963)

Around the green 12th (+.393)

Putting  48th (+.278)

22% on 15-25 feet, while the tour average was 16.1%

T5 in proximity to the hole from the fairway

4th in GIR %

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36 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

Well we all know the importance of distance  for sure. But it seems odd that after 2015 JS would think his play needed improvement. You’d think he’d realize his current game at that time was more than efficient to compete. What made you think he tried to improve his distance? Did this come out somewhere?

I agree with you- his game that year was amazing, but like I said above, I think he saw how important distance is for longevity.  Obviously it helps in the short term as well with shorter clubs in and all that, but I think distance is the most important factor for extending your career.  Additionally, people are always looking to improve and really the only thing JS could improve upon moving past 2015 was his distance.  I don't know if he had this thinking or whether his coach said it.  Who knows? 

Like you said, he was incredibly efficient and ranked high in every category, but I guess a pro has to nitpick his own game.  I get the desire to constantly improve, but you certainly don't want to set yourself back like he has.  I think he has gotten a little bit longer off the tee (this year he averages 295.5 for 77th place, while 2015 was 291 for 78th).  He's also gained a mph or two in average ballspeed.  However, he was top 15 SG off the tee in 15 and is now 198th, so it doesn't look like that was a good decision.  Looks like he traded 4 more yards for nothing to me, as it has seemingly affected his entire ballstriking game.  

35 minutes ago, klineka said:

I disagree with these statements, especially for the 2015 and 2016 seasons, which account for 7 wins and 2 majors.

In 2015 he gained almost the same amount of strokes from his iron play as his putting, and in 2016 he gained significantly more strokes with his putting than his iron play. That flipped in 2017, but IMO a 1 year sample size isn't enough to claim that it was his iron play that made him special.

Agreed, but what I think the previous posters were trying to get at was his ballstriking is more important and that's what fell off so much.  While he gained so much with putting, there's more potential for gaining strokes against the field in ballstriking.  See this year's PGA that I posted about.  If JS hit the ball like BK did, he would've run away with the PGA.  BK gained a ton of strokes on ballstriking alone- more than JS's putting even.

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1 hour ago, iacas said:

It’s not mental nor is it laziness or complacency.

It’s mechanical. He knows it. Cam knows it.

Sometimes you can't easily separate the mechanical from the mental. One affects the other.

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28 minutes ago, ncates00 said:

Agreed, but what I think the previous posters were trying to get at was his ballstriking is more important and that's what fell off so much.

That's not what was said though. What was said was that when Spieth was at his best and winning a lot, it was because of his ball striking and not because of his putting or short game. That contradicts the statistics for 2015 and 2016 as I showed.

31 minutes ago, ncates00 said:

While he gained so much with putting, there's more potential for gaining strokes against the field in ballstriking. 

Some people didn't think he gained much with his putting. But obviously there's more potential for gaining strokes in ballstriking than there is in putting, no disagreement from me there. 

The fact that it is harder to separate oneself on the putting green actually makes his putting stats in 2015 and 2016 that much more impressive, IMO.

34 minutes ago, ncates00 said:

See this year's PGA that I posted about.  If JS hit the ball like BK did, he would've run away with the PGA.  BK gained a ton of strokes on ballstriking alone- more than JS's putting even.

But Spieth didn't, because Spieth's ball striking isn't significantly better than his putting like people seem to think it is.

On average throughout his entire career he has gained as much from his approach shots (+.400) as he has from his putting (+.408) (shots gained per round).

Here are his SG: Approach the green by year

2013 24th (+.409)

2014 57th (+.286)

2015 11th (+.618)

2016 87th (+.145)

2017 1st (+.963)

2018 33rd (+.409)

2019 123rd (-.029)

Here are his SG: Putting by year

2013 60th (+.182)

2014 20th (+.399)

2015 9th (+.571)

2016 2nd (+.758)

2017 48th (+.278)

2018 T123 (-.034)

2019 11th (+.706)

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3 minutes ago, LICC said:

Sometimes you can't easily separate the mechanical from the mental. One affects the other.

And sometimes you can.

Like now. 😄

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53 minutes ago, klineka said:

ballstriking

I’m referring to this, not just approaches. Ballstriking encompasses his SG off the tee as well. His ballstriking is more important because there are more strokes to be gained and he did gain more. Add the approach and off the tee; you’re only comparing putting v. Approach. Note: I realize the previous posters referred to only irons; I think it’s broader than that and should encompass both driving and iron play as they will have some crossover skill relation (LSW). 

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1 hour ago, iacas said:

And sometimes you can.

Like now. 😄

All aspects of his game degraded. The stats show it. You don't think the problems he was having in one part of his game mentally affected him that led to mechanical breakdowns on other parts of his game? If it was just a mechanical problem, you would think it would be limited to one area and not everything.

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3 hours ago, klineka said:

I disagree with these statements, especially for the 2015 and 2016 seasons, which account for 7 wins and 2 majors.

In 2015 he gained almost the same amount of strokes from his iron play as his putting, and in 2016 he gained significantly more strokes with his putting than his iron play. That flipped in 2017, but IMO a 1 year sample size isn't enough to claim that it was his iron play that made him special.

Here are some of his stats by season.

Those stats aren't backing you up. He had his worst season in 2016 in that 2015-17 span, when his approach play was the worst of his three years. In his best years, his strokes gained: approach were higher than his strokes gained: putting. That was also true in 2013 (it wasn't true in 2014, when he didn't win). It really does seem like his best seasons line up with his best approach play...

But you're also missing the point. Spieth isn't winning things because he's a great putter. He's winning things because he's a great iron player. It is virtually impossible to win on the PGA Tour without being a great iron player. The fact that he's still struggling with his iron play means it's going to be very difficult for him to be as good as he has been.

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