Jordan, are you out there?

Xander Schauffele and Jordan Spieth greet young fans on the third hole during the third round of the Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club on Feb. 17, 2018 in Pacific Palisades, California. Courtesy of PGA Tour

Is it just me, or does Jordan Spieth seem to be invisible these days?

I’m not sure if it is the Tiger Woods effect, but Spieth’s name is rarely mentioned on tour these days. Wasn’t it less than two years ago that he was the next in line to replace the legacy left by Woods?

Here we are in 2018, and what do we find?

Woods is suddenly re-emerging as a top threat in the game, and Spieth is quietly hanging around but rarely mentioned as a top contender.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to say that Spieth is no longer considered a top player in the world of golf, but he’s not where most of us probably figured he’d be at this point in the season.

But, why?

I know it sounds crazy, but I do believe that the re-emergence of Woods might be affecting the psyche of Spieth. For players on tour, the game of golf is easier when Woods is not contending. They may not admit to it, but Woods still gets into the heads of even the best players in the world.

Think about this for a second.

Spieth had been tabbed as “The” guy on tour not that long ago. Woods was gone, Rory McIlroy seemed to be fading, and Phil Mickelson hadn’t won since 2013. Boy, have things changed in a hurry. Woods is now back, McIlroy just dominated at Bay Hill, and Mickelson won in exciting fashion in Mexico City.

Suddenly, Spieth’s position at the top of golf has gotten much more crowded.

If Spieth’s recent struggles are partly due to the solid play of Woods, McIlroy and Mickelson, it would be hard to criticize him. These are world-class players with little to lose, but plenty to gain.

Woods most likely feels as though Jack Nicklaus’ 18 professional majors is possibly still within reach. McIlroy is most likely tired of hearing about how great everyone around him is. And Mickelson, certainly feels as though he still has a few majors up his sleeve.

As the Masters draws near, I am interested to see if Spieth can re-emerge as the top player in the world.
He loves playing at Augusta National—the timing couldn’t be more perfect for him.

He needs to regain his confidence, and there is no better spot for him than Augusta National. I, for one, will be rooting for him. The game of golf is better when Spieth is in the mix.

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