Spieth is one PGA win away from career grand slam
It’s been almost four years since Jordan Spieth pulled off that miracle shot on the 13th hole to help win the 2017 Open Championship for his third major title.
The Texan first came out all guns blazing at the 2014 Masters and his first major, finishing in a tie for second place to stamp his mark on the golfing world at the age of 20. Another year later and he went on to win the tournament along with the US Open a few months later.
Jordan Spieth won his last major in 2017 (Credit: www.golffile.ie)
Spieth now has ten top-5′s to his name at majors and most recently finished just three shots off the pace at Augusta National behind Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama.
Although he’s gotten close, the 27-year-old is missing one major title from his resume – the PGA Championship. A runner-up in 2015 and a tie for 3rd in 2019 left him painfully short of achieving a rare career grand slam.
When asked whether the milestone was on his mind as he teed it up this week at Kiawah Island, Spieth was adamant that it wasn’t…at least not yet.
“It’s not. I think as we get into the weekend, if I’m able to work my way into contention, I think it’s something that’ll obviously be asked and come up, and it’s something that I certainly want,” said the World No. 26.
“You go to a major, and for me at this point, I want to win the Masters as badly as I ever have this year. Didn’t happen. I want to win this one as badly as I ever have. Once you move on to the U.S. Open, the same.”
“I feel like I’ll have a lot of chances at this tournament, and if I just focus on trying to take advantage of this golf course, play it the best I can and kind of stay in the same form tree to green I’ve been in, all I can ask for is a chance.”
Prior to February this year, Spieth’s chances of claiming another major any time soon looked slim at best. Out of seven tournaments, Spieth had made just three cuts and finished no better than T38.
Something clicked at the Waste Management Phoenix Open and Spieth hasn’t looked back from there securing his first win in four years at the Valero Texas Open in early April.
Over the past three months, Spieth has recorded seven top-10 results, matching the total from his entire 2019 and 2020 seasons.
“I’m not sure if there was a single turning point. I think it was kind of a progression of finding some feels that allowed me to stand comfortably over the ball and hit a shot under pressure, and then doing that for multiple days in a row and then having that happen a couple tournaments in a row.”
“So it was back to that Phoenix-Pebble time frame where I kind of thought, ‘Man, I know it’s not where I want it to be, but it doesn’t need to be for me to at least tap in to how to contend out here’”.
“I think it was kind of that two-week time frame that was really big for me.”
Spieth isn’t the stand-out favourite but it wouldn’t be a surprise to anyone if he was holding the trophy on Sunday.
Brooks Koepka is battling his way back from injury, Dustin Johnson is looking out of sorts after missing the cut at the Masters and hasn’t recorded a top-10 finish on the PGA Tour since February and despite his recent win, Rory McIlroy will need to battle with the final round demons if he is to get over the line this week.
Of course we can’t forget the likes of Bryson DeChambeau and Justin Thomas although they really haven’t been setting the world alight in recent months despite success earlier in the season.
On form alone, Cameron Smith, remains an outside favourite. The Queenslander doesn’t attract the same attention as the big names but has been quietly putting together a solid season. Smith’s only issue may be knocking off the rust from a month on the sidelines since his win at the Zurich Classic.
Spieth will tee it up alongside Masters hero, Will Zalatoris and 2012 US Open winner, Webb Simpson.