Spieth shows the proper way to handle defeat

Official PGA TOUR HeadshotsCompare how Jordan Spieth handled his crushing loss at the Masters to the manner in which Cam Newton handled his team’s loss at the Super Bowl.

Spieth was visible shaken as he slipped the green jacket around the shoulders of Danny Willet in the Butler Cabin on national television, but he showed up and did what he was asked to do.

Spieth then visited the media center and answered questions for a reasonable amount of time. He gave thoughtful answers, despite his desire to be anywhere else in the world.

This is the way a professional athlete should act.

The wrong way was exhibited by Newton, whose postgame conference lasted less than a minute before he walked away.

Here’s the ASAP Transcript from Jordan Spieth:

Q. Tell us what happened on 10, 11 and 12?
JORDAN SPIETH: I went bogey, bogey, quad. I went 5, 5, 7.
It was a dream come true front nine. And I knew par was good enough and maybe that was what hurt me, just wasn’t quite aggressive at the ball with my 3‑wood; 6‑iron on 10. And then the drive on 11. Just a lapse of concentration on 12 and it cost me.

Q. How disappointing is this?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, it’s a tough one. I knew the lead was 5 with nine holes to play. And I knew that those two bogeys weren’t going to hurt me. But I didn’t take that extra deep breath and really focus on my line on 12. Instead I went up and I just put a quick swing on it.

Q. When you left the grounds yesterday why did you feel you needed to get Cam back here? And when you worked this morning what was your confidence level as you hit the first tee?
JORDAN SPIETH: It was much better. I didn’t ask for him. He texted me and said, hey, would you like it if I came back? I said, sure. It can only help me if he’s here. And he likes for me to be self‑reliant. But at the same time the wheels kind of came off the last three holes on Saturday. And I think he felt that just his voice would bring my confidence back into my swing, and it certainly did. And he knew what was wrong and he knew that if he were here watching shots on the range it would make a difference. And it did, my confidence going into the first hole was fantastic.
But, listen, I had my B‑minus game tee to green, and I made up for it around the greens with my putter. Ultimately you just have to have your “A” game every single part, and I just didn’t have those iron swings, as it showed on the back nine.

Q. What did you learn today?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, I mean just‑‑ I learned what I learned in 2014. And it’s just stay committed. 12 is a 150‑yard shot and I feel I can bleed it next to the hole, and it’s a stock 9‑iron for me. But that hole for whatever reason just has people’s number. Stay committed behind the bunker. That’s about‑‑ it was really one swing. 10 and 11 you can take bogeys there. I was still 2‑under for the tournament with a couple of par‑5s left. My goal for the day was 4‑under. So we were still right on pace. It just didn’t take that extra deep breath. And Michael said, hit it right here, hit it right here. And I remember getting over the ball thinking I’m going to go ahead and hit a little cut to the hole and that’s what I did in 2014 and it cost me the tournament then, too.
That was the right club, just the wrong shot. I was more comfortable hitting a draw with my iron. I knew every time I played a fade this week, that shot kind of came out. And I just‑‑ at the time you’re going to throw all bad swings away and you’re just going to focus on how confident you can step into that shot and that’s what I did. But the swing just wasn’t quite there to produce the right ball flight.
So ultimately I should have just played a draw on that hole. At the same time there’s so much adrenaline and it’s enough club that if it’s downwind a draw can fly over the bunkers.
It was a tough number for me to commit to, but I had the right club.

Q. Tell me about the drop No. 12?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, I wasn’t exactly sure what to do there. It went in so far to the right that if I could go behind the drop zone I could have gotten to a number that I liked, similar to 2014, where I ended up saving bogey. Instead, I didn’t want to drop it at 65 yards off the downslope into that green. That’s just a number where you can’t get the full spin. I wanted to get it to a number where I could have it end up where it landed. It would take a skip and come back. So I wanted 80 yards. So I tried to get 80 yards. I’m not really sure what happened on the next shot. I just hit it fat.

Q. Coming back on the next holes, you had a chance on 16?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, it was very, very cool what the patrons here did for me. And they almost brought me back into it. I played 13, made birdie. Bad drive on 14, made up for it. Birdied 15 and all of a sudden they believed I could do it and it helped me believe I could do it. And I just‑‑ the putt I‑‑ I made a putt last year on 16, I missed one this year, who knows what happens at the end. But, yeah, it was‑‑ of course we’re going to fight back, you know. There’s no give up in us. We tried, but it just was one bad swing.

Q. Had four doubles or worse this week. What does that tell you about your game that you still finished second in the Masters?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, I mean I didn’t need to come here to take confidence out of my game. I’m very confident in the way that we play the game of golf. I think that when we’re on, I believe that we’re the best in the world. I believe we were the best in the world getting by for the most part this week with what felt uncomfortable over the ball with my iron play. I hit some really good irons, but for the most part it was my ability to map out the course, my putting and my short game that pretty much had us in the lead. Yeah, I mean it’s a lot of holes significantly over par, which is really tough for me to swallow, for me to shoot three over‑par rounds in a row after opening up with a 66. I understand the conditions were tough. But it’s my expectations, I should never shoot two over‑par rounds in a row, no what the golf course is, even a U.S. Open. So to shoot 3 on a course where I was under par through nine holes each round, that’s just tough to take away.

Q. Can you talk about how you didn’t want to give up the Green Jacket? You were hoping to return with it in your suitcase. What was that ceremony like, and just having to take it off and put it back on for the cameras?
JORDAN SPIETH: As you can imagine, I can’t think of anybody else who may have had a tougher ceremony to experience. Obviously happy for Danny. More important than golf, he’s had a lot of really cool things happened in his life. Like he said, maybe fate had it this time for him. I certainly wanted to control fate, myself.
But it was very tough given that it’s so soon after the finish and it was tough but I thought that he handled it with extreme class. And I felt that I stood up there and smiled like I should, and appreciated everybody who makes this great tournament possible.

Q. You’re polite from the outside, what’s it like on the inside?
JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, it’s about what it’s probably like watching from the outside. I can’t imagine that was fun for anyone to experience, other than maybe Danny’s team. And those who are fans of him.
At one point I told Mike, I said, buddy, it seems like we’re collapsing. And I wanted to be brutally honest with the way I felt towards him, so that he could respond with what was necessary to get us to rebound. And we did. I rebounded. I hit a great drive, I hit a good 7‑iron, got a tough break. I made two birdies coming in and almost made a couple more.
But, boy, you wonder about not only just the tee shot on 12, but why can’t you just control the second shot, you know, and make 5 at worse, and you’re still tied for the lead.
Big picture, this one will hurt. It will take a while.


Here’s the transcript from Cam Newton’s interview after the Super Bowl:

What’s your message to Panthers fans?
“We’ll be back.”

[Carolina coach] Ron [Rivera] said Denver two years ago had a tough time and they bounced back. Do you take that to heart?

Can you put a finger on why Carolina didn’t play the way it normally plays?
“Got outplayed.”

Is there a reason why?
“Got outplayed, bro.”

Was it pretty much what you had seen on film from Denver? Anything different they put in for this game?
“Nothing different.”

Do we sometimes forget that defenses can still take apart the offenses in this game?

What did Ron Rivera say after the game?
“He told us a lot of things.”

Anything in particular that was memorable?

Obviously you’re disappointed. On the biggest stage it’s difficult, I know.
[nods head]

Did you see anything that you didn’t expect tonight?
“They just played better than us. I don’t know what you want me to say. They made more plays than us, and that’s what it comes down to. We had our opportunities. It wasn’t nothing special that they did. We dropped balls, we turned the ball over, gave up sacks, threw errant passes. That’s it. They scored more points than us.”

Can you put into words the disappointment you feel right now?
“We lost.”

Did Denver change anything defensively to take away your running lanes?

I know you’re disappointed not just for yourself, but for your teammates. It’s got to be real tough.
[shakes head] “I’m done, man.”

About the Author

Hello and Welcome to The Georgia Golfer I'm Stan Awtrey, the writer and administrator for this site. I love to watch and play, although my 19 handicap index would indicate that I'm better at watching. I've played more than 200 different courses over the years, including Augusta National (twice).