Top coach makes huge claim about Jordan Spieth

Jordan Spieth

Tiger Woods’ former coach Hank Haney has claimed that former world No.1 and three-time major champion Jordan Spieth “visibly has the yips”.

Spieth is in Hawaii for this week’s Sony Open, where he is making his first start of 2019. The 25-year-old will be hoping that this year goes better than 2018, where he failed to win during the calendar year for the first time in his career, missed the season-ending Tour Championship and slipped outside of the world top ten for the first time since 2014.

However, speaking to ESPN.com before the tournament got underway, Haney offered a rather damning observation on one particular part of Spieth’s game.

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"He's got to get his putting figured out," said Haney, who coached Woods to six of his 14 major championships. "I think he will. But he has to. And I think that spilled into the rest of his game. When I watch him putt, he visibly has the yips. You watch his hands on short putts and there is a tremor in there.

Hank Haney

“I don't care if the putt goes in or doesn't. He was centre-cut on his first putt at the Ryder Cup. But his hands were shaking. He had to miss more short putts than anybody on tour."

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Spieth’s putting – such a strength in 2015 when he won back-to-back majors and came within a handful of shots of completing the calendar year grand slam – undeniably went backwards last year. He ended the season ranked 123rd in Strokes Gained: Putting. That’s in marked contrast to 2016, where he finished second in that category.

He opened the Sony Open overnight with a three-over 73 to sit in a tie for 127th, 12 shots off the early pace set by Canadian Adam Svensson.

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