Spieth Sets Out in Search of History
A lot has changed for Jordan Spieth in a very short space of time.
Two years ago, when the 21 year-old American arrived at Muirfield for his Open debut, he was a relative unknown but now, just 24 months later, he is World No. 2 and on the cusp of re-writing golf’s record books.
Until now, only the great Ben Hogan has won all of golf’s first three Majors in the same calendar year but Spieth, after wins at both The Masters and the US Open, can emulate his fellow Texan should he win this week at St Andrews.
“Yes, it’s very different,” he admitted while speaking to the press on the eve of his first round of this year’s Championship. “When I played Muirfield, which is still to this day one of my favourite courses and one of my favourite tournaments I’ve played, I certainly did not think things were going to happen so fast”.
“I got into contention that Saturday and started to make a little move,” he added. “I remember thinking that was too big for me at the time. I felt I wanted to compete. I loved the pressure but it was a position I’d not been in before and it was brief. I didn’t finish well that round.”
Fast forward 24 months and things are altogether different. He is the undisputed favourite and it is a burden he relishes.
“It would be amazing,” he said when asked what it would mean if he could win the Claret Jug at St Andrews. “I’ve watched The Open here at St Andrews and I don’t think there’s anything more special than playing in The Open Championship in the home of golf. All in all, I’m extremely excited. It would mean the world to me to try to win this Championship and to do it here would be even more special.
Spieth went on to refute the suggestion that his decision to travel to Scotland late after winning last week’s John Deere Classic would prove detrimental to his chances. “The whole point (of playing at the John Deere) was to get in to a position to try to feel the pressure over the weekend,” he said. “I wanted to try to perform my best under pressure and see what I needed to adjust for Major Championship pressure. That was the game plan. I’m happy that it worked out and I’m ready to go.
“I’m sleeping just fine, adjusting to jet lag great,” he added. “We played 18 holes late into the evening on Monday when we got here and then a loop of ten holes yesterday. I’ll play another full round today. That’s more golf than I usually play going into a tournament. We’ve been working on trajectory with my approach shots. We’ve done a really good job of figuring out where the pin locations are going to be. We’re ready to go.”