Can Jordan Spieth imitate fellow Texan Jack Burke Jr. and come back from seven down at Augusta? The weather might help

AUGUSTA, Ga. ­– Thirty years ago, The Masters began giving its champions a sterling silver replica trophy of the Augusta National clubhouse. The original, made in England in 1961, consists of over 900 pieces of silver. Jordan Spieth keeps his replica in his home office, but mostly only goes in there when his 1-year-old son Sammy wanders in unaccompanied. Spieth said he probably goes in there once every five months.

“It’s one of those things I don’t – I see myself caring more towards 25 years from now,” said Spieth of the trophy. “But until then, I want to pretend I haven’t won anything.”

Heading into the weekend at the 87th Masters, Spieth trails Brooks Koepka by seven strokes. The weekend weather forecast calls for a 100 percent chance of rain with gusts up to 30 mph and significantly cooler temperatures. Jack Burke Jr. holds the record for the largest comeback after 36 holes at eight strokes in 1956.

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“The benefit we have, those of us chasing,” said Spieth, “is that it’s going to be incredibly difficult conditions, so that makes it hard on all of us. It means a few under goes a long way.”

Play was suspended for the day at 4:22 p.m. ET Friday during the second round, not long after Spieth concluded his 2-under 70. The 2015 Masters champion is 5 under for the tournament.

Spieth made nine straight pars on the back nine, hitting 11 greens in each of the first two rounds.

“The one thing I have not done well at all this week is greens in regulation,” he said, “and it’s one of the most important stats out here, and that will be as important as anything this weekend.

“Picking a plan to put the ball in the fat part of the green and trusting speed control and knocking in putts inside 5 feet. So not very aggressive with those conditions. You don’t have to be to make up shots when the conditions are bad. You’ve just got to look at the par 5s as your opportunities, and the rest of them, if you steal one or two, great.”

In his last four starts, Spieth said he has gained strokes on the field in every category: driving, approach, chipping and putting. Most of his issues this week, he noted, have been mental errors.

Spieth has finished in the top 3 of the Masters on five occasions, hitting at least 72 percent of the greens each time. This week he’s hitting 61 percent.

When he won in 2015, Spieth led by five after 36 holes, matching the tournament record. Koepka, who holds the clubhouse lead at 12 under, is currently three shots ahead of Jon Rahm, who has nine holes left to play and four shots in from of amateur Sam Bennett, who shot a second consecutive 68.

When asked to recall what it felt like to sleep on such a large margin Friday night, Spieth noted that he was much younger than Koepka.

“I think for me, I was 21 and hadn’t won a major yet,” said Spieth. “Brooks is 32 or 33 and he’s won four of them. He hasn’t won this one, which means a little bit more, I think, but it’s a different scenario for him. He’s slept on these leads way more often than I had at the time.”

Koepka, who won last week at LIV Golf Orlando, last won a major in 2019.

“I don’t know,” said Koepka, when asked to compare himself now to then. “I’m, what, three years older? So that makes a big difference.

“I don’t know, I feel the same, man.”

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