“It was 100 per cent responsible for me not being able to strengthen my grip, which in turn then is probably normally the first thing guys go to if something gets a little bit off.” – Jordan Spieth on how his form dipped after breaking a bone in his hand in 2018
Jordan Spieth is without a worldwide victory since 2017
Former world No 1 Jordan Spieth has accepted that playing through a hand injury contributed to a dramatic loss of form and sparked a winless run stretching back to 2017.
The three-time major champion is back just outside the world’s top 50 after four top-15 finishes in his last six starts, including a tied-third at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and a share of fourth at both the Waste Management Phoenix Open and Arnold Palmer Invitational, having struggled to contend on the PGA Tour in recent seasons.
Spieth’s last victory came at The Open in 2017, with the 27-year-old revealing ahead of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play that chipping a bone in his left hand early in 2018 – an injury previously not made public – contributed to his downfall.
Spieth heads into the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play as world No 54
“It’s just a matter of how bad it’s bugging you and it was for a while there in the spring of 2018 through that fall,” Spieth said. “Then it got a little better probably because I started swinging so poorly.
“As the year went on my grip got weaker. It was 100 per cent responsible for me not being able to strengthen my grip, which in turn then is probably normally the first thing guys go to if something gets a little bit off.
“I could shoot five under but for four straight rounds to have to time it up a lot more and be consistent, it’s that much harder, so it was very much a reason.
“Everybody’s got some reason for something that they get off. That was mine, and I certainly could have handled it differently. I didn’t really know what to do and I just ended up playing through it. I feel good that right now it’s not an issue. I don’t feel it now, which is nice.”
Spieth has failed to get out of the group stage in the past three editions of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play
Spieth has been drawn alongside Matthew Wolff, Corey Conners and Matt Fitzpatrick in the round-robin group format, with the American grateful to be back playing in the World Golf Championships after failing to qualify for last month’s WGC-Workday Championship.
“That [not qualifying] hit me pretty hard,” Spieth added. “I didn’t like that at all…not being able to play in it being because of world ranking. It lit a fire that I hope to progress forward and not miss many more.
“I’m glad to be here with a chance. I’ve got a tough first-round matchup on Wednesday and that’s kind of where my mind’s at right now.
“I’ve got to go out and play phenomenal golf against somebody [Fitzpatrick] who’s been playing some of the best in the world.”
Watch the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play throughout the week live on Sky Sports. Live coverage begins with Featured Groups on Wednesday from 3pm on Sky Sports Golf.