March 20-- AUSTIN, Texas-Two weeks from now, Dallas' Jordan Spieth will be at Augusta National, trying to win his second Masters in three years-and, in the process, earn his fourth top-two finish in as many Masters appearances.
Sometimes, though, Spieth wonders if reporters have forgotten he won the 2015 Masters. Spieth is basing that observation on the fact that most of the Masters-related questions he's getting these days are about the five-shot lead he lost during Sunday's back-nine at Augusta National last year-without mention of his '15 victory.
"No matter what happens at this year's Masters, whether I can grab the jacket back or I miss the cut or I finish 30th, it'll be nice having this Masters go by," Spieth said Monday at Austin's Van Zandt Hotel, after pairings were announced for this week's WGC Dell Match Play tournament at Austin Country Club.
"The Masters lives on for a year," Spieth added. "It brings a non-golf audience into golf. It'll be nice once this year is finished, from my point of view, to be brutally honest with you. It would be best if I could reclaim the jacket, but I believe that I'll be back up there, sooner or later."
His track record at Augusta National is enough to bolster his confidence, even if fans and reporters are wondering how, in particular, Spieth will fare on Augusta National's par 3 12th hole, where on Sunday last year he plunked two shots in the water and made a quadruple-bogey 7.
"Jordan still has an amazing record at Augusta," said Rory McIlroy, who at No. 2 in the world is four spots ahead of Spieth. "He's played three times; he hasn't finished outside the top two. He's great going in there.
"I think once he plays that 12th hole once, once he gets it over and done with on Thursday, he'll forget about it and most other people will, and he'll go on. And I'm sure he'll have a great chance to win again this year."
After playing the Dell Match Play this week, Spieth will follow his usual Masters preparation by playing in next week's Shell Houston Open. Spieth currently is a 6-1 favorite to win the Masters.
"Look, people forget that I won in '15 when they're asking the question sometimes," Spieth said. "Maybe they don't forget, but I feel like I'm very successful on that golf course. And so I want that to be my mentality. And so that will continue to be my mentality in the future. Unfortunately, the way the questions have been framed, it hasn't seemed that way.
"Which is why I'm just ready for a different news story. And I hope to create my own positive one this year."
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