Spieth blames putter after missed cut

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Jordan Spieth insisted his Masters collapse was not a factor in his missed cut at The Players Championship on Saturday.

All eyes were on the American as he returned to action at Sawgrass this week, his first appearance since blowing a five-shot lead midway through the final round of the Masters a month ago.

After a less than stellar first-round 72, Spieth was hovering around the cutline when the second round was suspended on Friday night.

Resuming on Saturday morning, the 22-year-old couldn't turn it around, opening with a bogey at the 15th and pars at 16 and 17. A birdie at the last for a 71 was not enough to avoid an early exit. 

Perhaps even more embarrassingly, Spieth had to play alongside tournament leader Jason Day, who he trailed by as many as 15 shots.

He dismissed any suggestion that the Masters was still playing on his mind, however, and put all the blame on his putter.

"I don't think there's much of a connection to the Masters. I just didn't putt well," Spieth said. "Augusta seems like a long time ago to me.

"It's tough when you are getting shellacked by 15 shots in the same group. You see all those birdies going in and you wonder why you aren't making any of them. It's tough seeing every hole being birdied and not being able to do much about it.

"I'm striking the ball great. I just need to grind on my short game. Everybody has off putting weeks, and if I putt anywhere near the standard I normally putt I'm at six or seven under just on the greens.

"I'm beating myself up a little too much on the course and it's affecting me. I realise that now. I need to be a little bit more positive with myself on the course and maybe lower expectations a little bit and free myself up. It seems I'm so tense."

Spieth wasn't the only high-profile player to make an early exit – defending champion Rickie Fowler also got the weekend off after rounds of 72 and 71 and blamed his form on the greens as well.

"I just couldn't make anything on the greens the last two days," he said. "You're going to make mistakes out here tee-to-green, but I wasn't able to make up for those with the putter."