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Jordan Spieth at AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am 2016: Sunday Leaderboard, Reaction

Published by Bleacher Report on Mon, 15 Feb 2016

While Jordan Spieth's 2016 Pebble Beach Pro-Am ended in relative anonymity, the world No. 1 dug himself out of the rubble Sunday and proved why he sits atop the rankings.Spieth shot a six-under 66 in his fourth round, closing at seven overall for the tournament and walking into the clubhouse in a tie for 21st place. He carded six birdies without bogey but was still an insurmountable 10 strokes behind by the end of his round. Vaughn Taylor carded a seven-under 65 to come from behind and shock Phil Mickelson and take the win."I'm not in contention. It will be the first stress-free round that I've really had in quite a while where I've played a Sunday not having a chance to win," Spieth said coming into the round, per the Associated Press (via theDallas Morning News). "It's not good, but at the same time, I think I can get into a groove and not lose any hair over the back nine. I'm going to fire at some pins."Beginning his day on the back nine, Spieth did just that. He fired off birdies on the par-four No. 11 and No. 13 to start his round off strong, fixing the driving and putting issues that have plagued him throughout the tournament.A string of three pars was then followed by a promising two-hole run at the turn, as Spieth stuck an approach within 12 feet on the par-three 17th and then hit a bunker approach within three feet on No. 18. The 22-year-oldcoolly knocked down both putts to make the turn at four under.Unfortunately for those hoping for a rapid ascent up the leaderboard, that's about where things slowed down. Spieth began the front nine with five straight pars, which included a number of missed opportunities. Birdie chances on No. 2 and No. 5 each came within a foot of going in before Spieth finally got back under par with an eight-foot putt on the par-five sixth.After struggling to convert birdies on the par fives throughout the week, Spieth carded birdies on two of four opportunities Sunday. Had he played the holes at a similar level the rest of the week, Spieth would have been in contention deep in the afternoon. As it stands, he turned in his worst 72-hole performance since tying for 30th at last May's AT&T Byron Nelson tournament.It was a disappointing week overall for Spieth, who hadn't finished any worse than seventh since the BMW Championship last September. His form was nowhere near last month's Hyundai Tournament of Champions, where he shot a 30-under on his way to an eight-stroke victory. Those Hawaiian trips have apparently gotten into Spieth's head, as he admitted to becoming a little complacent after beginning his year on such a high note.I think the last three tournaments, Ive almost played under the impression that its going to be as easy as Hawaii, Spieth said, per Will Gray of Golf Channel. All three Ive kind of approached it as if I should shoot 6, 7 or 8 under each round like we did in Hawaii, why not' Its that easy. But it just isnt.Spieth will look to spin his final 18 holes positively as he heads into next week'sNorthern Trust Open, a solid mid-tier tournament on the early-season slate. Spieth finished in a tie for fourth at Riviera Country Club last year. A former U.S. Open host, Riviera is typically a solid test for even the world's best; last year's winner, James Hahn, finished at just six under over the four rounds.With less than two months remaining before the Masters Tournament kicks off the 2016 major championship season, Spieth will need a course like Riviera to round himself into form. But it's a testament to his overall game that even a miserable weekend at Pebble Beach will conclude with him just barely outside the top 20.
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