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Golf Australia Express : GA Express 193
A NOMALY or a worrying sign of things to come? All will be revealed this week as former world No.1 Jordan Spieth steps back onto the course at the Players Championship, in his first tournament since that diabolical final round at the Masters. If Spieth was hoping to quietly slip back onto the PGA Tour after a month of soul-searching, it’s mission accomplished. He’s barely been sighted or heard from in recent days as he attempts to steel his game for a return to competitive golf. But what he can’t avoid is the inevitable scrutiny that will follow him this week at TPC Sawgrass – the forensic dissection of his game as everybody searches for microscopic dings and chinks in his armour that prove his double-dip into the water at the 12th hole at Augusta has done lasting damage. Can he rise above that calamitous 10 minutes that cost him a third major? Of course he can, and if anyone should know, it’s Rory McIlroy. McIlroy was yet to secure his first major when he, too, blew it on Sunday at Augusta in 2011. Eight weeks later he joined the major champions club at the US Open. “He has got two majors and he is one of the best players in the world and I’m sure he’ll overcome it like a lot of people have,” the Northern Irishman said when quizzed about Spieth’s return on radio this week. “You can get a bit flustered and I think he did.” That said, if Spieth was hoping to draw confidence from the choice of venue for his return, he could have done better. After tying for fourth on debut at TPC Sawgrass in 2014, last year he failed to reach the weekend, shooting rounds of 75 and 72. He was also paired with Jason Day for those two rounds. His Thursday and Friday partner this year? Day again.
GA Express 192
GA Express 194