Jordan Spieth has always said his first Australian Open triumph in 2014 taught him how to close out a tournament and the 23-year-old expects to reap an equally important dividend from Sunday’s second victory.
The 23-year-old American’s win at The Australian Golf Club two years ago on the back of a final round 63 was the springboard to a stellar 2015 in which he won five tournaments, including his first two majors.
At Royal Sydney on Sunday he prevailed after a gutsy three-under 69 and a three-way playoff with Australians Ashley Hall and Cameron Smith, which he won with a 12-foot birdie putt.
Spieth was particularly pleased that he managed to get his swing right under pressure, especially after leading by five shots going into the back nine on the last day of this year’s U.S. Masters before blowing up and relinquishing his title.
“You can’t practice for being very nervous,” he told reporters.
“You can’t get on the range and say okay, get nervous. It doesn’t work that way. It just comes through experience.
“It’s easier when you’re five or six up coming into the last few holes, you can trust anything, there’s no nerves, you’ve already closed it out.
“But it’s moments like today where you can really take it going forward.”
After his brilliant 2015, two wins on the U.S. PGA tour this year was considered a modest dividend for the former world number one.
While he was certainly not going to start predicting major successes for next season, he did feel he would be able to draw on Sunday’s experience.
“I think a lot can be drawn back on 2014 into 15. The way we played the playoff, I think it’s going to do wonders for me,” he added.
“I’ve been in a little bit of a stall hitting the shots when they mattered.
“To hit those two shots in there right where I wanted to hit them and then to make the putt with it, is something I can draw on all next year.”
After two victories and a second place in his three trips Down Under, Spieth suggested he would be back at The Australian Golf Club to defend his title next year.
“Certainly plan on it, it’s hard to tell a year from now,” he said. “But how can you argue with coming here and gaining the confidence that we’ve had out of this event?”