Jordan Spieth is rediscovering his all-conquering 2015 form just as the Masters looms

 
Sam Torrance
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AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am - Final Round
Spieth has one win and two more top-three finishes this year (Source: Getty)

In his book about coaching Tiger Woods, The Big Miss, Hank Haney emphasises just how much the leading players focus on the Majors above all else.

With the Masters just a few weeks away, many will already have one eye on Augusta.

So it is interesting to see who has already hit their stride this year, and few look in better form than Jordan Spieth, who won his first tournament of the year at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am on Sunday by the comfortable margin of four shots.

Read more: Garcia and Matsuyama show why they can win Masters

Spieth had already achieved two third-place finishes and a top 10 from three previous outings in 2017.

After a mixed year by his own extremely high standards, the Texan is showing signs of being back to the form that swept him to world No1 status in 2015.

Sometimes we forget how much he has accomplished. Only Woods reached nine PGA Tour wins at a younger age than 23-year-old Spieth.

His breakthrough year – back-to-back Majors plus the FedEx Cup – was extraordinary, but he is looking like he is approaching those levels again.

Time for Day to step up

AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am - Final Round
Day was tied for fifth at Pebble Beach (Source: Getty)

He isn’t the only top player warming up as the Masters looms.

US Open champion Dustin Johnson was third at Pebble Beach – the third time in four events this year that he has finished in the top six – while Jason Day was tied for fifth with Spain’s new superstar Jon Rahm.

Day had three great rounds but a bad Saturday.

He has another chance to win at this week’s Genesis Open in Los Angeles, where seven more of the top 10 will also be competing.

I’m not sure how his back is holding up – or how he is still world No1 – but it’s about time for Day to step up.

Willett's glass half-full

Maybank Championship Malaysia - Day Four
Willett wilted during the final round in Malaysia (Source: Getty)

It hasn’t been the easiest of times for defending Masters champion Danny Willett, who wasn’t able to convert his three-shot overnight lead at the Maybank Championship in Malaysia on Sunday into a first title since donning the Green Jacket 10 months ago.

Willett will be disappointed with a final round of 73 that left him tied for fifth in Kuala Lumpur, but you always have to take the positives.

The Englishman’s form is heading in the right direction and the thought of heading back to the Masters can lift him out of any slump.

Keep an eye on Lipsky

On this occasion Willett was upstaged by Fabrizio Zanotti, whose incredible birdie-eagle finish saw him beat American David Lipsky by one shot.

It’s a welcome return to the winner’s circle for Zanotti, who has had his ups and downs on the European Tour.

He lost his card after his debut season in 2008, instantly won it back at qualifying school and then became the first Paraguayan to win a title on the tour in 2014.

Lipsky looks to be on a nice run, with four top-six finishes in his last nine events, so I’ll be keeping an eye on him too.

European Tour deserves credit

Finally, it’s great to see the European Tour being innovative with formats such as at this week’s World Super Six in Perth and the Golf Sixes event set for St Albans in May.

The World Super Six is a 54-hole stroke-play contest followed by a day of match-play among the top 24 to determine the winner.

I like the sound of this because it’s a way of staging match-play without so many of the usual concerns that the big names could be knocked out on day one, which sponsors don’t like.

The Golf Sixes event, meanwhile, is set to feature music, fireworks and players rigged up to microphones. I’d have loved all that and I think it’s a great idea.

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