Spieth aiming to follow Patriots' example with stunning comeback


Jordan Spieth intends to adopt the same 'refuse-to-lose' mentality that helped the New England Patriots to the most unlikely Super Bowl triumph as he prepares for yet another tilt at Masters glory on Sunday.

Spieth has yet to finish lower than second on three previous visits to Augusta and will play in the penultimate group in this year's final round after closing to within two of the lead, held by Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia, courtesy of an impressive 68 on Saturday.

Having seen his title defence in 2016 ruined by a seven on the par-three 12th, Spieth has this week bounced back from another quadruple-bogey - the nine he registered at the 15th on Thursday.

He ended round one 10 strokes off the pace, but will now be many people's favourite to claim the green jacket.

Asked if he can draw on other sporting comebacks for inspiration, Spieth made reference to the Patriots' astonishing recovery in Super Bowl LI, which saw them overturn a 28-3 deficit to beat the Atlanta Falcons.

Spieth told a news conference: "Well, I mean, not to toot my own horn, but personally I've come back and won tournaments before, all the way from six back on the PGA Tour.

"So I can draw off those experiences, but sure, watching the resiliency of teams that are down and kind of falling ... obviously the Super Bowl this year is a very clean example of somebody that just refused to lose, and the entire team refused to lose. Therefore, didn't give up, felt the momentum. And when the momentum was on their side, they then ran with it and continued to press and press and get better and better."

Assessing his position, Spieth said: "I feel great.  I mean, after the first round, I couldn't ask for much better than this.

"We [Spieth and caddie Michael Greller] fought back tremendously to have a chance to win this golf tournament, and no matter what happens at the end, we will have a chance to win with a really good round tomorrow."

In a reference to his woes on 12 last year, a laughing Spieth added: "I know that anything can happen. I know ... if somebody gets hot on the front nine tomorrow that's not myself, to stay in there, stay patient, you just never know. It's tough protecting a lead on this golf course, because it's one where you need to play aggressive to win. And protecting the lead, you don't want to play aggressive.

"So I know that; if I am able to jump out into the lead, I know that you have to keep the gas pedal down and pretend you're not.  And I know that if you fall behind, to stay patient and just recognise that.

"I mean, Rosey just shot five under on the back nine, right? That's something that you can do out here, given the opportunities that we have on these reachable par-fives. After 10 and 11, if you hit the right shots, you have a pretty good birdie opportunity on the Sunday pins on just about every single hole."