As his ball sliced far to the right of the 13th fairway at Royal Birkdale, near Liverpool, England, eventually landing on an overgrown hillside, Jordan Spieth looked on helplessly, if not hopelessly. It was the final round of the 2017 Open Championship, which Spieth had started with a three-shot margin over fellow American Matt Kuchar. But the lead was a distant memory now; Spieth’s inconsistent play had allowed Kuchar to narrow the gap leading up to the 13th. To make matters worse, Spieth couldn’t find a playable second shot from the spot his drive had come to rest. It looked like an epic collapse on one of golf’s biggest stages, and from one of the sport’s brightest young talents.

Spieth might have thought he was experiencing a bad case

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