Spieth's mental toughness stands out for Floyd

Fri Apr 8, 2016 8:26pm EDT
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) - Four-times major winner Raymond Floyd knows a thing or two about mental toughness in golf, when the pressure is at its most intense, and that is the one quality he admires most in Masters leader Jordan Spieth.

American young gun Spieth was a runner-up and then champion in his first two starts at Augusta National and he launched his title defense in impressive style on Thursday by shooting a bogey-free 66 in tricky gusting winds.

Now aged 22, Spieth won the Masters and U.S. Open last year before ending a stellar PGA Tour campaign with a total of five titles and an array of other awards while his brilliant putting already ranks among the best of all time.

"Well, it's incredible what he's already done given his youth," Floyd, 73, told Reuters under the stately oak tree outside the iconic Augusta National clubhouse on Friday.

"He plays the golf course very comfortably ... he has a comfort level with it. To come back defending and go out in difficult conditions the way he did yesterday and shoot six-under without a bogey is very impressive.

"He's so refreshing and so mature for his years and I think he's going to be a great player for a long, long time to come."

Floyd was renowned for his own superb short game, mental toughness and distinctive stare during the American's Hall of Fame career that produced 22 victories on the PGA Tour, including the 1976 Masters.


Tom Watson (L) and  Raymond Floyd watch play during practice ahead of the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in Scotland September 25, 2014.  REUTERS/Russell Cheyne