Jordan Spieth Checks His Shoes and Regains His Footing

The day before, Spieth had held his first 54-hole lead on the PGA Tour since blowing the 2016 Masters, and this one he converted into his ninth Tour title. His four-stroke victory, at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, was just what the psychologist ordered for Spieth, who hoped he would not have to return to Augusta National in April weighed down by the baggage of the five-stroke lead he squandered in the final round last year.

“It was definitely in the back of my head all day,” Spieth said. He added: “You have that voice in your head that says, ‘Who cares what anybody else says or thinks? We just do what we do.’ But obviously that round was going to be on my brain because it was the most recent lead that we had. If I didn’t hold this one, what kind of repercussions would that have?”

Having exorcised the ghost of leads lost, Spieth could have slept in the next morning, enjoyed a sun-splashed day, and then luxuriated in the rave reviews of his new shoes that night. Instead, he was out at Riviera Country Club when the sun came up to play in the Collegiate Showcase with amateur partners that included the heralded Texas senior…

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