Spieth satisfied with progress amid struggles

Jordan Spieth believes he has already seen progress in his game after fighting back against Billy Horschel at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.

Spieth has endured a difficult start to the year, failing to finish in the top 30 at any of the six events he has played and missing the cut twice.

The American looked set to start the tournament in Austin with a loss before rallying to halve his match against Horschel in Group 15.

Former world number one Spieth, 25, feels he already showed signs of taking steps forward during his round.

“I’m not looking to be validated or not validated, I’m just looking for progress. And I’ve made progress,” he told a news conference.

“And today was kind of the best as far as the finish goes, the best I’ve played under pressure in a little while. And I haven’t really been in the position to play under pressure for a little while. It was great to see that.

“That could certainly serve me well not only to the rest of this tournament but as we [go] in the next few weeks.”

Horschel was 3up through five holes and held a 2up lead with three to play, but a bogey at the 16th and Spieth birdie at the last saw the spoils shared.

Three-time major winner Spieth, who faces Kevin Na on Thursday, said the result felt like a victory after his comeback.

“It was big. He was winning the holes. He was making a lot of really long putts through the early part of that front nine. And luckily, I had holes to go after that,” he said.

“And we did a good job of not letting that bother me. If he’s going to shoot seven or eight under, I’m going to try to shoot six and make progress in that form.

“So, once I kind of tied the match up through nine, it was go time. I had some momentum. And it was really nice, 2down with three to go, to salvage a tie. Felt like a win for sure.”