On Golf: Jordan Spieth Returns to Contention by Playing ‘Without Fear’


Jordan Spieth, left, and the caddie Michael Greller on the 18th hole of Saturday’s third round of the Masters.

Andrew Redington/Getty Images

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Jordan Spieth stood in the woods, his line of sight blocked by a tree and his ball 228 yards from the 13th green.

“What would Arnie do?” Spieth asked aloud.

This Masters is the first since 1954 without Arnold Palmer, who died last year. Spieth said it was more than a coincidence that he invoked Palmer’s name on Saturday in the most tense moment of his third round.

“I’ve been thinking of Arnie all week,” Spieth said. “And thinking that you’ve got to play this golf course as he did — without fear.”

Spieth’s caddie, Michael Greller, was lobbying hard for Spieth to play it safe and lay up short of the creek that fronts the 13th green.

But Spieth felt his mind wander from the present to the past, channeling the ample history of Augusta National Golf Club, and of Palmer, a four-time Masters champion.

“I had confidence,” he said. “I thought in order to…

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