Jordan Spieth Struggles to 3-over 75 in 1st Round of 2020 Players Championship

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 12, 2020

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FLORIDA - MARCH 12: Jordan Spieth of the United States watches his drive on the 11th hole during the first round of The PLAYERS Championship on The Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass on March 12, 2020 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. (Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images)
Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images

Jordan Spieth struggled to a three-over 75 in the first round of the 2020 Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, on Thursday.

Upon entering the clubhouse, Spieth had one of the worst scores among golfers who had teed off and was in a tie for 93rd place. The 26-year-old Texas native also trailed leader Hideki Matsuyama by 12 strokes.

Spieth began his round on the back nine and finished with five bogeys and just two birdies during a trying day.

After parring his first four holes, Spieth bogeyed the par-four 14th and proceeded to bogey two more holes on his front nine to make the turn at three over.

While the one-time Masters, U.S. Open and Open Championship winner managed his first birdie of the round on the par-four first, bogeys on the fourth and fifth knocked him down to four over.

PGA Tour Live host Jonathan Coachman made note of Spieth's significant fall from grace over the past two years:

Jonathan Coachman @TheCoachrules

Hard to believe how far off Jordan Spieth has fallen. He is currently 12 shots back of the lead in the 1st round with one hole to play. What a long two years for him. Hope he can get it back. @PGATOUR @PGATOURLIVE

Spieth was once the No. 1 golfer in the world, but he hasn't won a tournament since 2017 and is 56th in the world golf rankings.

According to Golf Channel's Will Gray, Spieth acknowledged his struggles Wednesday before the start of the tournament, saying: "I'm trying to reverse a year-and-a-half of kind of bad reps."

Per Brendan Porath of SB Nation, Golf Channel analyst Arron Oberholser suggested Spieth could benefit from different guidance: "I think he needs a coaching change. I do. I think he needs a fresh set of eyes."

Whatever advice Spieth received Thursday didn't pay off. Although he managed his second birdie of the day on the par-four seventh, Spieth closed out his round with a pair of pars and finished at three over, which means he is very much in danger of missing the cut Friday.