ST. LOUIS — Jordan Spieth sounds like a mess. He sounds like most other golfers who are not world-class pros.
If you watched Spieth during Friday’s second round of the PGA Championship at Bellerive, you might have noticed an extraordinary amount of indecision from him before some shots.
There were times when Spieth, who shot a 4-under 66 to get to 3-under for the tournament, took some 20 practice swings before committing to his shot.
There was a reason for that.
Spieth, who has struggled with his game this year, revealed after his round he has been working on the wrong thing in his swing for months. It was a stunning admission by a world-class player who has won three career major championships and was once ranked No. 1 in the world.
“Before The Players [Championship] I went to Swing Motion, [and] it cleared stuff up temporarily but in fact pushed me further away from what I should have been doing,” Spieth said Friday. “So I spent literally two months nailing in the wrong thing, and I’m trying to climb back out of it. I never had that in my career. Normally I work on the right thing too much and have to back off and work again.
“So it’s tough to trust on the golf course, and I had a tough time [Thursday] and [Friday]. I had no choice. You have to trust it and started to clear up a bit of it. A lot of it is just setup related. Where I start tracking the club off line from a setup position, that’s not correct. So what is correct feels off, and so I’m just going to have to play. I just have to deal with it.”
Spieth said it “took a few holes to get to where I could find where that club face was.”
“Last year at this time, my setup was just coming natural to me, which it does for 90 percent of the guys,” Spieth said. “I’m just in that unfortunate position where I have to feel awkward when I’m over it before I even start the swing. So through the swing, it feels even more awkward. I thought, given that [Friday] was a really solid day, but I need better each day on the weekend to have a chance.”
Spieth said he felt “progress” Friday, even though he said, “I wasn’t sure going into the first tee. I thought that anything could happen … but it was a really solid round. It’s close. It got closer.”
Seven shots out of the lead held by Gary Woodland at 10-under, Spieth was asked what it will take on the weekend to vault into contention to complete his career Grand Slam.
“I need something really special,” he said. “But again, [I’m] just trying to progress each day. My expectations are lower than they are when I’m in form, certainly last year at this time, and I’m okay with that. It’s just a process, and I got to be patient with it getting back.’’
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