Spieth may never repeat 2015 heroics, says Strange

Thu Mar 31, 2016 4:14pm EDT
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By Tony Jimenez

(Reuters) - Double U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange believes Jordan Spieth may never repeat the scintillating form he showed in 2015 that sent him rocketing to number one in the world rankings.

Everything the young Texan touched seemed to turn to gold as he landed his first two major championship victories at the U.S. Masters and U.S. Open, and won the Tour Championship to sew up the lucrative end-of-season FedExCup Series.

"Last year was a phenomenal year for any player, much less for a 22-year-old," Strange said in a conference call ahead of Spieth's Masters title defense at Augusta National next week.

"It could turn out 20 years from now that could be his absolutely best stretch of his life. I don't think so, I hope not, but it very well could be.

"If he holds himself to the standard that he played for four or five months last year, it's going to be difficult to repeat day in and day out."

Spieth's consistent brilliance last year has given way in 2016 to a series of poor rounds and he lost the world number one ranking to Australian Jason Day earlier this week.

The American has also done a lot of golfing globetrotting this year and Strange, who won the U.S. Open in 1988 and 1989, believes that has led to an inevitable downturn in fortunes.

"I think he did do a little bit too much (traveling) but... I think it was good that he did it this early in his career because he learned from it," said the 2001 U.S. Ryder Cup captain.    Continued...

Mar 26, 2016; Austin, TX, USA; Jordan Spieth of the United States misses this putt to lose to Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa on the 16th hole in round four of the World Golf Championship-Dell Match Play at the Austin Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports