PGA Tour

Spieth says no slump after missing Players cut

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Jordan Spieth (AFP)
Jordan Spieth (AFP)

Miami - World number two Jordan Spieth missed the cut Saturday at the US PGA Players Championship, his first event since squandering a back-nine Sunday to lose last month's Masters.

The 22-year-old American, struggling with his putter, opened on 72 and followed with a 71 to stand on one-under 143, one stroke over the cut line to missing the last 36 holes for the second year in a row at TPC Sawgrass.

Spieth, who defends his US Open crown next month at Oakmont, downplayed the notion he could be in a funk after his Masters meltdown, which denied him a second consecutive wire-to-wire win at Augusta National and handed England's Danny Willett a first major crown.

"I don't think there's much of a connection to the Masters. I just didn't putt well," Spieth said. "Augusta seems like a long time ago to me."

Adding to Spieth's pain, he was playing alongside top-ranked Jason Day as the Australian fired a 36-hole course record of 15-under 129 -- matching the 18-hole mark of 63 before completing a 66 on Saturday after storms and darkness delayed the end of round two.

Spieth, 22, looked as miserable watching the Aussie sink his birdies the first two rounds as he did handing over the green jacket to Willett as a global audience watched on television.

"It's tough when you are getting shellacked by 15 shots in the same group," Spieth said. "You see all those birdies going in and you wonder why you aren't making any of them. It's tough seeing every hole being birdied and not being able to do much about it."

"I'm striking the ball great. I just need to grind on my short game. If I putt anywhere near the standard I normally putt I'm at 6- or 7-under just on the greens."

Spieth also said he needs to have more fun during rounds and change his attitude if he hopes to approach the success he enjoyed last season, when he won the year's first two majors, shared fourth at the British Open and was the PGA Championship runner-up to Day.

"I'm beating myself up a little too much on the course and it's affecting me," Spieth said. "I need to lower my expectations a little bit. It seems I'm a little tense."

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