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Jordan Spieth: BMW 'a big step forward'

This wasn’t the BMW Championship Jordan Spieth wanted. But nothing is going to take away from the year he’s had.

Spieth seemed to be making a move with a 31 on the front nine Sunday. But he went 4-over on the first four holes of the back nine and settled for a 70. He finished the BMW 11-under, 10 shots behind Day.

“To play the weekend even par was disappointing with the soft, gettable conditions we had,’’ Spieth said. “[But] as poorly as I felt with my game, to shoot double-digits under par, it’s actually a big step forward.’’

Day may yet make the player-of-the-year race interesting. But Spieth remains a lock in the eyes of Rory McIlroy, who began the year wearing the mantle of Next Great Golfer.

“Majors trump anything,’’ McIlroy said. “Jordan has had that locked up basically since the [British] Open championship.’’

Spieth not only made a major statement by winning the Masters and U.S. Open. He came within a couple of putts of winning the British Open before tying for fourth and finished second at the PGA.

And yet, after missing the cut at the first two FedEx Cup events, the 22-year-old Texan found himself answering questions about a slump.

Spieth seemingly put that aside by shooting a first-round 65 on Thursday that was highlighted by a hole-in-one. He followed that with a second-round 66 before posting a 72 on Saturday. If he was chasing Day, so was the rest of the field.

Spieth’s major success extracted a major toll, said his friend, Day.

“I think the last two tournaments that he played, he was just done,’’ Day said. “I think he was mentally and physically tired. He’s had a lot of stuff to do that a lot of people don’t know about behind the scenes—a lot of trips for media, a lot of fan stuff, a lot of sponsor stuff. It just doesn’t stop for him. He’s a young American who’s just won two majors. He’s kind of like the poster child of the PGA Tour. It’s busy, and he’s not a machine. He’s human. It’s OK for him to be tired and kind of wanting to be somewhere else.’’

There’s every reason to think Spieth will be in the hunt for more glory next year, if not at the Tour championsip this week.

“I didn’t really have my game this week,’’ Spieth said. “If we can get things back on track, I feel very confident about the outcome in Atlanta.’’

Follow me on Twitter @HerbGould