MY wife and son have both been feeling dreadfully ill recently. In fact, if you place your ear to this page, you’ll probably hear their wretched, tortured howls, heaves and wails in the background as I try to winkle out a column amid a terrifying cacophony that sounds a bit like an angle grinder descending into Dante’s Inferno.

What was it Churchill said again? “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” Or was it muttered by one of the sub-editors halfway through proofreading this latest composition?

Anyway, let’s batter on. He’s back. And don’t worry, we’re not banging on about Tiger Woods again. On Easter Sunday in 2021, we were all hailing Jordan Spieth’s return to winning ways after a title drought of almost four years. On Easter Sunday here in 2022, Spieth marked his latest coming with his first win in 12 months.

No sooner had the Texan closed out a play-off victory over Patrick Cantlay at the RBC Heritage, eager golfing clairvoyants were already rubbing their, ahem, crystal balls with glee and pondering what Spieth might be doing on Easter Sunday in 2023. Slipping on a Masters green jacket perhaps?

Let’s not get too carried away. Spieth certainly won’t be. Fortunes, good and bad, can change quicker than Boris Johnson’s version of various events in this game.

Just over a week ago, Spieth cut a fairly forlorn figure as he missed the cut in the Masters for the first time in nine appearances at the major he adores. “It was the worst feeling as a golfer that I can remember,” he said of that early exit. 

But hang on. His careless missed putt from a few inches during Saturday’s third round at Harbour Town plunged him into more depths of despair. “I was about as upset after that round as I’ve ever been at a golf tournament,” he said. Spieth certainly doesn’t do things by halves.

It's all part of his captivating charm. His explanation to a group of autograph-seeking youngsters that he would come back to them after the play-off certainly wasn’t something every golfer would take the time to do in a high-pressure situation.

Sure enough, Spieth returned to the waiting masses in triumph and performed all his duties while kitted out in that truly awful RBC Heritage winner’s tartan jacket which remains as gaudy as some of Liberace’s more eye-watering cast-offs.

You certainly get your money’s worth with Spieth. Rather like hopping in a cab with a one-armed taxi driver who has a bad itch, you just have to strap yourself in, hope for the best and enjoy the chaotic ride.

Those of us who play this unfathomable old game all find ourselves muttering and mumbling at that little dimpled sphere we thwack through the air. Or skitter along the ground. Some of us can be so fatalistic, we often deliver the last rites to our ball at the top of the bloomin' backswing.

Spieth’s relentless chunterings, as he cajoles, coaxes and compels his ba’ to do this, that and the other, remain fascinating. His lengthy conversations before, during and after a shot can be as meaty as the Frost and Nixon interviews.

Amid Spieth’s special kind of magic, meanwhile, there can be plenty mindboggling mayhem as the 28-year-old hits some quite shocking shots. As for his putting? “I won it without a putter,” he said with a wry grin as he raked over a dicey display on the greens.

Somehow, however, Spieth found a way to win. That’s one of the hallmarks of a true champion.

Having won the Masters and US Open in 2015, and the Open in 2017, we probably thought Spieth would’ve racked up more than just two wins since that last major conquest five years ago. He will always be judged on those thrilling, youthful conquests which propelled him into the pantheon of greats. Anything less comes under magnified scrutiny. There’s no hiding place in the game’s upper echelons.

Bobby Jones, the grand slam winner of yore, once likened championship golf to a cage. “First you are expected to get into it and then you are expected to stay there,” he said. “But of course, nobody can stay there.”

Spieth has experienced plenty of ups and downs in recent seasons and what he does as a follow up to this latest success is anybody’s guess. 

Just when you think he’s about to return to his previous majesty, he leaves us all scratching our heads with another topsy-turvy spell. Whatever’s in store for Spieth, you can guarantee it will be entertaining.


The drought is over. There hadn’t been a Scottish winner of the Helen Holm Women’s Open Strokeplay Championship for so long, even the trophy itself was parched. Congratulations, then, to North Berwick’s Grace Crawford who became the first home hopeful to land the title since 2002 at Troon on Sunday.

There’s a right good bunch of vibrant Scottish girls coming through and the announcement yesterday that the well-kent Kathryn Imrie, the first Scot to win on the LPGA Tour, will be returning home from the US to work as a performance coach with Scottish Golf can hopefully help this talent thrive.

With Catriona Matthew also on board, the current crop couldn’t ask for two better mentors.