There’s no doubt that Jordan Spieth has been on one heck of a roller coaster ride this year. Spieth turned pro in December after just one year at the University of Texas, where he won pretty much every award and title he could get his hands on. To begin 2013, he missed the cut at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, but he then ran off four straight top-ten finishes between the Web.Com Tour and PGA Tour in late February and early March to earn Special Temporary Member Status.
With his playoff win in the John Deere Classic, Spieth became a full-fledged member of the PGA Tour, earning himself a spot in this year’s Open Championship and next year’s Masters. It was a rough week at Muirfield, where Spieth finished 44th, but now that he’s back Stateside, what’s a Tour rookie to do?
The answer: rest, for once.
On Saturday, his 20th birthday, Spieth’s decision to withdraw from next week’s WGC-Bridgestone Invitational is sure to draw a certain amount of criticism. With a field boasting the likes of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Adam Scott and Rory McIlroy, the no-cut event at Firestone Country Club is a popular stop on the PGA Tour schedule. Still, at a certain point, taking some time to rest and recover is going to be important.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not about to lament the life of a professional golfer, especially the hottest young star in the game, but Spieth has only taken four weeks off this year: the Masters, the PLAYERS, the St. Jude Classic and the Travelers Championship. You know he would have teed it up at Augusta had he been qualified, so with three real weeks off all year, it has to be getting tiring.
While it obviously would have been nice to see him tee it up at Firestone, Spieth will use the time off to prepare for the year’s final major, the PGA Championship at Oak Hill, and the ensuing FedEx Cup playoffs. He’s just getting started on this journey, and he’s earned the right to dial it back a little bit to get himself in the best frame of mind he can be in.