In a recent episode of The Smylie Show, Smylie Kaufman had a candid conversation with golf sensation Jordan Spieth. Spieth’s insights shed light on the impact of the Ryder Cup on his game, a pivotal injury that affected his swing, and his determination to succeed.
The Significance of the Ryder Cup
Reflecting on his experience playing in the Ryder Cup, Spieth highlighted its significance in elevating his performance during major events. He compared the intensity of the matches to the pressure-filled back nine of a major tournament, emphasizing how each victory provided him with the confidence and extra gear needed to close out tournaments.
Spieth believes that being selected for the team instilled a deep belief in his abilities, a sentiment he believes Scottie Scheffler experienced in the 2021 Ryder Cup. The culture fostered by these events, according to Spieth, can help talented players like Cameron Young reach their full potential.
Spieth expressed, “The culture itself, I think, and you’d have to ask Scottie [Scheffler] straight up, but it happened to me in 2014, as far as just having success in the Ryder Cup, and doing it on foreign soil – I had contended at the Masters and The Players in 2014 and I came up short – and then after the Ryder Cup I felt like I found that little extra gear to be able to close stuff out.”
Spieth continued, “I haven’t spoken in depth with him about the impact he thought that Ryder Cup made, but when he goes out and beats number one in the world, and then it leads to that next year, it’s like, man, I’ve lived this. I’ve seen this. And I would be surprised if he didn’t feel that that had something to do with it.”
Spieth stated, “So that culture is gonna continue to make guys feel, you know, like a Cameron Young, I mean, he’s just one little thing away from going off. He’s about as talented as anybody that’s out there.
Impact of His Hand Injury on Grip
Spieth then delved into the impact of a hand injury he sustained in 2017 and how it affected his swing for several years. Initially, he tried to manage the pain rather than opting for surgery, resulting in a weakened grip that caused his shots to veer offline. This led to a decline in his performance and an extended period of frustration. However, Spieth eventually made the decision to strengthen his grip in 2021, which marked a turning point in his game.
Recalling the injury, Spieth admitted, “That was the catalyst for a lot of my down years… back when I finally committed to re-strengthening my grip, which wasn’t until 2021.”
With his new grip, Spieth experienced a resurgence in his game. He began playing well at the start of 2021, feeling confident in his ability to shape the ball as desired. For Spieth, the key to reclaiming his form was having trust in his start lines and the freedom to execute shots without fear of a two-way miss.
Spieth expressed, “I commit to gripping it stronger. I start to play really well the beginning of 2021 with just a couple impact feels with a stronger grip and making it feel like I’m just using my body.” Spieth continued, “The only thing that had to click for me was just having confidence in my start lines… That level of freedom is massive versus having a two-way miss.”
Remainder of the Season
Assessing his performance this year, Spieth acknowledged that while he hasn’t secured a win, he feels he has played well enough to achieve victory. He cited a few missed opportunities and emphasized the importance of staying the course and waiting for the bounces to go his way. Looking ahead, Spieth expressed his determination to improve in the latter half of the season and not settle for mere stagnation.
Spieth explained, “I’m going to be preparing with that in mind to try and really look at this back half of this year as trying to improve on the front half and not kind of be stagnant, not be okay with the year, you know what I mean?… I wanna win every single week more than anybody else, I promise you, but I don’t have to win to feel that I was successful in a way.”
New episodes of The Smylie Show will debut every Monday and Thursday on all major podcast platforms. The show will also air every Monday at 8pm ET on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio, featuring a mix of commentary on the game from Kaufman, who won the Shriners Hospital for Children Open in 2015, and interviews with personalities from around the game.
Tags:Cameron Youngjordan spiethPGA Radiopga tourpga tour radioryder cupScottie SchefflerSmylie KaufmanThe Smylie Show
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