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‘Fatigued’ Jordan Spieth happy to be near top at Masters, but contemplating a future schedule change

AUGUSTA, Ga. — After bogeying the 72nd hole, Jordan Spieth lowered his head as he exited the Champions Locker Room. In his left hand were his Under Armour golf shoes. In his right was a green Crow’s Nest cup, filled with a locally brewed wheat ale.

“I made a tremendous amount of mental mistakes,” Spieth said. “To be this close, it’s nice, but it almost frustrates me more.”

The 2015 Masters Champion was 7 under through 17 holes Sunday, and had sliced his pre-round deficit of 10 to 3. Then, the shot that cost him in 2018 reappeared.

Standing on No. 18 tee box, Spieth toed his drive left, forcing a pitch-out. The end result was five. And when playing partner Phil Mickelson birdied the hole, their positions on the towering white leaderboard flipped.

Spieth’s bogey capped a final-round 66, yet a bittersweet tie for fourth. It marked Spieth’s sixth top-5 in 10 tries at Augusta National.

“I played way too much coming into this,” Spieth said. “I came in mentally fatigued, and you overwork this week every year. I mean, this is eight out of 10 weeks. I need to change my schedule going forward to be sharper this week.”

Spieth noted his mental mistakes — most notably his Thursday decision to go pin hunting on No. 13. Spieth found the hazard and needed seven strokes to finish the hole.

“I got lazy picking targets,” Jordan said. “I probably only had a target on 50 percent of the shots this week, and I like to have them 100 percent of the time.”

Spieth spoke of Sunday’s atmosphere, comparing the second nine to 2015, 2016 and 2018.

“I have a lot of great memories coming off No. 15 green from the year I won, the year after, and 2018,” Jordan said. “Now, this year. You feel like everyone’s trying to will the ball in for you.”

But similar to 2018, the final hole proved crippling. Five Aprils ago, Spieth trailed Patrick Reed by nine entering Sunday. Then, the Dallas native caught fire, birdieing nine of his first 16 to pull all-square with two to play.

But Spieth’s drive on No. 18 sailed off target and he exited the green with the same result as 2023.

“When you’re that far back, you have to have everything go right,” Spieth said moments after today’s round. “It was close, but I should have done a lot better in those first three rounds.”

Spieth finished 2023 with 69, 70, 76 and 66 (281).

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