Masters notes: Jordan Spieth upbeat despite subpar effort

Jordan Spieth joked Saturday that Augusta National officials couldn’t “Jordan proof” the course because he doesn’t hit it straight enough off the tee.

It’s a moot point now. Spieth did himself in Sunday, dropping from contention after six holes and hitting the water with his tee shot on No. 12, a moment of déjà vu from last year’s final round.

Spieth limped in with a three-over 75 and tied for 11th place, but the 2015 champion was somehow upbeat after what transpired.

“I’m not going to beat myself up whatsoever,” he said. “I shot 75 but, boy, I felt great over the ball.”

Huh?

“Out here, distance control is so key,” he said. “I was two yards into the rough so many times, and it makes a huge difference on controlling the distance out of the rough. It's a coin flip. Is it going to jump or come out spinning? And I missed those coin flips all five times, I guess.”

Top amateur

Stewart Hagestad, a Newport Beach kid who ended up in New York as a financial analyst, was the low amateur in the tournament. He not only won that honor but was the first Mid-Am champion to even make the cut.

He shot 74-73-74-73 for a final score of six over.

Walking up the 18th fairway, Hagestad was told by his caddie that he had a three-stroke lead for low amateur.

“I had chills from about 75 yards out and to have everyone here to support me, what an honor,” Hagestad said. “This is absolutely why you play the game and why you practice. It’s a really, really special week for me and I’m sure the emotions will hit me here at some point.”

He said he thinks he’ll start graduate school at USC on July 24.

“Most likely,” he said. “Unless anything crazy happens between now and then.”

Veteran perspective

Ernie Els was playing in his 23rd Masters — not playing particularly well, but he did last all four rounds. After opening with a 72 and 75, he played 83 and 78 on the weekend. The 47-year-old with four major wins, but never the Masters, looked back fondly.

“The negative is just that my play was atrocious and that’s the hard part to take,” Els said. “But if I look back at the 23, 24 years here,how many professional golfers get the chance to play the Masters 23 times?

“And having the chance to win it a couple times was special and this tournament is not just for me. I’ve won a lot of events around the world, but this one just eluded me and that’s fine.”

In the hole

Until Matt Kuchar’s hole in one on 16, Russell Henley might have had the shot of the tournament on the fifth hole. From 185 yards his approach shot didn’t hit the green, it flew right into the hole for an eagle. It moved him into the red numbers at one under.

The force with which the ball entered the hole damaged the dirt part at the top of the hole. Two groups played through before officials repaired the hole.

Copyright © 2017, Los Angeles Times

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