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Spieth confident his wizardry at Masters can lead to a great season


By Phil Casey

Jordan Spieth believes his brilliant final round at The Masters can act as the springboard to another successful season.

Spieth admitted he was in a state of "panic", particularly with his putting, when he struggled to an opening 76 in the Valspar Championship and failed to get beyond the groups of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.

However, the 23-year-old recovered to finish third in the Houston Open in his native Texas and was also third at Augusta National a week later after a scintillating 64 in pursuit of Ryder Cup partner Patrick Reed.

"I got on the right path," Spieth told a pre-tournament press conference ahead of the Zurich Classic in New Orleans, where he will partner Ryan Palmer in the two-man team event.

"I was working on things throughout the year, thinking I was doing the right things, and I finally feel like I got the short game back on track in Houston and Augusta, and to hit those kinds of putts under pressure and see some of those go in, I think will be very beneficial going forward this year.

"It very well could be a spark for a really solid year. I'm very pleased off the last couple of tournaments I've played and where I've come from the month prior to that."

Eighty two-man teams will aim for a first prize of over $1m (£717,000) each in New Orleans, with fourballs played in the first and third round and foursomes tomorrow and Sunday.

There are some high-quality pairs, with Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson favourites. Former Ryder Cup team-mates Graeme McDowell and Ian Poulter compete together.

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