Jordan Spieth had not won a tournament on the PGA Tour since 2017 entering the final round at the Valero Texas Open, and he could not have picked a better time to end the drought.
Spieth, whose last win came at The Open Championship nearly four years ago, held off a charge from Charley Hoffman on Sunday with his best round of the tournament. In addition to showing he can still play at a high level, Spieth proved he can handle pressure. Hoffman birdied three out of the final six holes to make things interesting, but Spieth never seemed rattled. He nearly matched the performance down the stretch and made a clutch birdie on 17 that essentially sealed the win.
The long-overdue victory came amid Spieth’s strongest two-month stretch of play in years. Since missing four cuts in seven tournaments late last season into early this year, Spieth has four top-five finishes in his last six events. His win, of course, came just days before the start of the 2021 Masters.
That should be incredibly important for Spieth’s confidence. Once viewed by many as the next Tiger Woods, the three-time major champion really hasn’t been the same since his infamous collapse at the 2016 Masters. After winning the Masters the year before, Spieth took a five-shot lead into the back nine in the final round at Augusta. He managed to blow it in large part because he carded a 7 on the par-3 12th hole.
Spieth will never play in a Masters again without thinking of what happened in 2016. But nothing could be better for the 27-year-old’s confidence than notching his 12th career win just days before returning to Augusta. We’ll soon find out if that translates to his game.