New Course, Same Result for Spieth at Nelson

Jordan Spieth finished outside the top 20 as the AT&T Byron Nelson debuted at Trinity Forest Golf Club over the weekend. (Photo: Chris McGathey)

Jordan Spieth felt confident about his hometown tournament, speaking beforehand about how his familiarity with the new Trinity Forest Golf Club would be advantageous in trying to reverse his fortunes at the AT&T Byron Nelson.

But on Sunday, the Preston Hollow resident and former Jesuit standout was again left scratching his head.

Despite favorable scoring conditions, he finished outside the top 20, and his 11-under par total of 273 was 12 shots behind winner Aaron Wise.

“It’s always been a struggle for me reading these greens, and the tournament was no different,” Spieth said. “Obviously some guys aren’t struggling so much with it, making a lot of putts. My game is in good shape. I’m very confident going forward.”

Spieth, a three-time major champion and 11-time winner overall on the PGA Tour, consistently attracts the largest galleries of fans at the Nelson. After all, he was one of those fans as a youngster.

However, as Spieth has become a golf superstar, his success locally has not followed suit. His best finish at the Nelson remains his first appearance as a 16-year-old in 2010, when he tied for 16th place.

“This tournament is one that I would love to win someday. At this point that’s kind of what I’m focused on here. It’s been a tournament I’ve had some of the best memories I’ve ever had, whether going to or playing in.”

After more than three decades at the TPC Four Seasons in Irving, the tournament was relocated this spring to Trinity Forest, a links-style facility in southern Dallas with no trees — resembling older European courses with undulating terrain.

Spieth, 24, has been a member at Trinity Forest since it opened in 2016. He was there when the greens were sprigged, and has played dozens of practice rounds since then.

“I think it was a really positive outcome for the golf course and the tournament here. It was an overwhelmingly positive outlook from the players that played,” he said. “I think as the greens continue to fill in and mature, they’ll only be more consistent and the course gets better.”

As for Spieth, he intends to remain patient and stay positive about his game heading into the bulk of the PGA Tour season, and to come back and try again at the Nelson next year.

“I felt like I played better than I scored,” Spieth said. “I think this golf course is a better fit for me personally. I am not feeling extra pressure. It’s simply been I haven’t gotten the ball in the hole on the greens.”