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Jordan Spieth pulls off wonder wedge shot as he warms up for Masters with Texas Open victory

“This is a monumental win for me.”

Jordan Speith held his nerve down the stretch to end a near four-year drought as he claimed a two-stroke victory at the Valero Texas Open – just four days before the Masters starts.

Spieth shot a closing six-under 66 to hold off Charley Hoffman as the three-time major winner clinched his first win since the 2017 Open Championship and installed himself as one of the favourites for Augusta.

Hoffman moved to within a shot of Spieth down the stretch only for the 27-year-old to slam the door shut with a fine birdie on the 17th after nailing a wedge to around three feet.

Spieth

After winning the Open in 2017 – adding the third leg of the Grand Slam after triumphs at the Masters and US Open in 2015 – Spieth’s form disappeared and he ended 2020 82nd in the world rankings.

Victory in Texas lifts him up to 38th, however, and the American admitted he did not expect to be away from the winner’s circle for such an extended period of time.

“There’s peaks and valleys in this sport, but I never expected to go this long,” said Spieth.

‘It’s been a long road’ – Spieth

“Back then, in between wins, maybe I took things more for granted than I should have. It’s very difficult to win out here and I’ll certainly enjoy this one as much as I have any other.”

“This is a monumental win for me,” Spieth said. “It’s been a long road. There were a lot of times that I didn’t know I would be here.”

Spieth has rediscovered his best form in recent months, claiming top-five finishes at Phoenix, Pebble and the Arnold Palmer Invitational before closing out his home tournament in style, producing a masterful wedge shot on the 17th under intense pressure.

“I’ve had a chance on Sundays three or four different times in the last two months, and today was by far the best that I played,” he added.

“Just to see those putts go in, I felt like I was doing everything right those other Sundays and I hit good putts and they wouldn’t go in. Today I hit a couple that I didn’t quite strike very well but they went in.”

Spieth boasts a frankly ridiculous record at the Masters and is naturally one of the pre-tournament favourites given his recent form.

Between 2014 and 2018, Spieth’s Masters record reads: T2, 1, T2, T11, 3.

It would take a brave man to bet against the Texan as a return to Augusta looms. Of course, only two players have won a PGA Tour event the week before triumphing at Augusta.

Phil Mickelson won the 2006 Bell South before claiming his second green jacket while Sandy Lyle won at Greensboro immediately before his Masters win in 1988.

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