PGA Tour

With Masters defense on horizon, Jordan Spieth focuses on 'trimming the fat' in Houston

Jordan Spieth
Jordan Spieth ( Getty Images )

Thursday, March 31, 2016

HUMBLE, Texas — “Trimming the fat” is how Jordan Spieth terms his current state of mind.

On the one hand, he thinks his game is in decent shape, and his performances have been positive thus far in 2016. It’s just that when compared with his rivals in the top echelon of the Official World Golf Ranking, Spieth hasn’t quite measured up as the 80th Masters fast approaches.

Jason Day is on a two-week winning streak. Adam Scott won two in a row earlier in March. Between them, Charl Schwartzel triumphed. And it doesn’t end there, because “Bubba (Watson) has played extremely well,” Spieth said. “Louis Oosthuizen has played well. Rory (McIlroy) has played Augusta National very well, and he’s playing strong golf this year. Zach Johnson played great golf last week.”

Quite a healthy list of lads on top of their games, which bodes well for Masters fans.

“I think this year’s Masters might be the hardest one to win in quite a while, as far as the depth of the field and the quality of golf being played by people who play Augusta National very well,” Spieth said.

Unlike those players, Spieth knows he hasn’t won since the Hyundai Tournament of Champions during the first week of January. But it’s not as if the T-9, T-18, T-17 finishes in his past three tournaments don’t indicate that improvements can’t be made. Thus, the “trimming the fat” description, Spieth’s insistence that what he needs now is “a little more consistency.”

At this point last year, Spieth was coming off of a victory and two second-place finishes, so he was truly “trending” headed into Augusta. Maybe he’s not “trending” quite like he was in 2015, but the reigning Masters champ is confident of a stern defense.

“The focus right now is for this week (the Shell Houston Open)," Spieth said, "because there’s a lot I need to do this week to better prepare for the Masters and feel that I have the confidence to win.”

Spieth missed the cut at the SHO in 2014, then went to Augusta and tied for second. Last year here, Spieth tied for second, then won the green jacket. If you don’t think he draws confidence out of the latter scenario, you’re wrong. Which explains why he’s locked in to a strong tournament here at the Golf Club of Houston. readers: We value your input and welcome your comments, but please be respectful in this forum.