Missing first-ever WGC event 'lit a fire' under Jordan Spieth

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AUSTIN, Texas – Jordan Spieth’s freefall from the game’s upper-echelon has been well-documented, but it was actually the world ranking math that had his attention to start the year.

Spieth finished 2020 ranked 82nd and slipped all the way to 92nd before turning his game around. That left many of the PGA Tour’s top events out of reach, including this week’s WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.

WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Full bracket | Matches

“First and foremost I was looking at the [World Golf Championship] that got moved from Mexico into Tampa and that hit me pretty hard,” Spieth said. “Missing a World Golf Championship, via not qualifying for it was the first one, and I didn’t like that at all, being able to play in an event against the best in the world … it lit a fire that I hope to progress forward and not miss many more.”

Inside the curious slide and celebrated resurgence of Jordan Spieth

Spieth failed to qualify for the year’s first WGC event for the first time in his career but cracked the top 64 and qualified for the Match Play thanks to his tie for fourth place at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

“This one being in Texas and being home and obviously having actually maybe an easier chance to qualify for this one than that one, I definitely wanted to keep playing well to make sure that was a possibility,” he said.