Spieth’s biggest fear in Grand Slam quest is McIlroy
(Quail Hollow, NC:) Jordan Spieth admits he has just one fear in his quest to become the youngest Grand Slam champion – Rory McIlroy.
In his very first Major Championship since capturing The Open, the 24-year old Texan has the opportunity to join just five other golfers in winning all four Majors.
Not since Tiger Woods in 2000 has anyone joined the most exclusive club in all of golf.
After his brilliant Royal Birkdale triumph Spieth joined Phil Mickelson and McIlroy as the only “active“ players with the chance of winning a Grand Slam with Mickelson still needing to win a US Open and McIlroy heading to Augusta National next year for another shot as Masters glory.
If there is one rival Spieth fears it is McIlroy, a player with an unmatched Quail Hollow record among those competing this week having contested seven Wells Fargo Championships, winning two, runner-up in another and enjoying three other top- 10s.
“Rory is a guy who is very difficult if you come into a one-on-one type situation no matter where it is, and especially in majors, because he doesn’t — he’s not afraid to hit the shot“, said Spieth.
“I mean, he plays so aggressively, and that’s what you have to do to win. You’re going to lose some tournaments because of it, but you’re going to win a lot more than playing any other way. Rory’s proven that.”
“He won this tournament by eight shots and that doesn’t come from playing too safe. Even when he had the lead, he kept his foot on the gas pedal. He’s done that for dozens of worldwide victories.”
“Rory has four major championships and is one of the top couple of most accomplished players in this field, so he is one to fear in that position because of what he’s capable of doing and how he’s going to do it.”
But after the euphoria of his Open win, and while admitting there will be pressure, Spieth is remarkably laid back ahead of the year’s final Major Championship in suburban Charlotte.
“My greatest opponent this week is not the course or the weight of expectation but the players, and beating one of the top-couple best fields in golf”, he said.
“The golf course is extremely challenging. But the biggest challenge in winning is going to be the incredible talent that’s out there this week.”
“If I don’t win one (PGA title) in the next ten years, then maybe there’s added pressure then, and hopefully we don’t have to have this conversation in ten years.”
“Do I have to be the youngest? No, I don’t feel that kind of pressure. Would it be really cool? Absolutely.”