Jordan Spieth confident as he eyes US PGA chance for career grand slam | Ewan Murray


Salvation for golf purists, irritated by the Saudi themes that dominate their sport, could arrive in the form of a 28-year-old Dallas player. If Jordan Spieth lifts the Wanamaker Trophy on Sunday night, a career grand slam over, there will be an appealing narrative to at least momentarily offset the incessant chatter about breakaway tours, human rights and golf’s non grata personality. , Phil The Shill.

Spieth arrived at Southern Hills in form that suggests this is his best chance yet to add the US PGA Championship to the Masters, US Open and The Open. He would become only the sixth man in history to win each of golf’s big four. It’s to Spieth’s credit that he fully embraces another inclination to make history.

“Certainly at this point, having won the other three, it’s an elephant in the room for me,” Spieth said. “It’s one of my goals. If you just told me I was going to win a tournament for the rest of my life, I’d say I want to win this one, given where things are. If you told me that before the start of my career I was going to win a tournament, I would say the Masters because it was my favorite tournament growing up.

“Things are changing, and that obviously has an important meaning. In the long run, it would be really cool to say that you captured the four greatest golf tournaments in the world that are held in different parts of the world and in different styles as well. So you feel like you have accomplished golf when you win a career Grand Slam.

“I’ve come close a few times. It hasn’t necessarily been my most successful major, but I’m feeling great heading into this week.

Spieth won the RBC Heritage and finished second at the Byron Nelson since a missed surprise cut at the Masters. Augusta National proved to be a headache for the man himself. “Friday round I shot 76 and I can’t tell you I missed a shot,” he said. “It was outrageous. I really didn’t feel like I had done much harm. I’ve had weeks like this before. You just hope they’re not at the Masters.

Tiger Woods during a practice round at Southern Hills. He was paired with Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy for the first two rounds. Photography: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

By his own admission, the former Spieth reportedly sought a technical change after playing just 36 holes in Georgia. His collapse after winning the 2017 Open makes a subsequent return to the pinnacle of golf all the more admirable.

Spieth is back in the world top 10, having been 92nd at the start of 2021. Spieth, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy jump as the tournament’s top group for the first two rounds here. The trio only have all 22 majors between them.

“They’re both great to play with,” Spieth said. “They are fast. They are positive. I think you have to embrace it and have fun and recognize that these are the kind of pairings that I will one day tell my kid about, “I have to play with Tiger in a major.”

“Last year, you weren’t sure it would ever happen again. I know it’s great for golf, but selfishly, it’s pretty exciting to be able to play these events growing up with the guy you idolized.

McIlroy’s form and mood look positive as he chases a first major triumph since 2014. Jon Rahm’s touch around the greens should be a huge advantage for Southern Hills. Shane Lowry said he was “quietly confident” about his winning prospects.

There are only 98 days left between the last round of the Phoenix Open and the same point of this US PGA. If Scottie Scheffler wins in Tulsa, he will have won five times in that window. “When I show up at tournaments, I don’t feel any different,” insisted the Masters champion.

Scorching temperatures, high winds and cross-holes mean the pace of play will inevitably be an issue. It wouldn’t be a shock, in fact, if the second round went ahead early Saturday even without weather delays. Southern Hills offers a severe physical test.

As if to prove that Saudi thoughts are never far away, Richard Bland responded candidly when asked if he had any doubts about attending their $25million event in Hertfordshire next month. The European Tour will not grant permission to members such as Bland to feature.

“I’m going to play,” Bland said. “If I’m banned, I’m banned. Most of my career is now behind me when it comes to playing at the highest level. I’m 50 in six months.

” I am realistic. Mother Nature tends to catch up with you. I have the opportunity to play these events and secure my future and I’d be pretty stupid to turn that down.

Luckily, people like Spieth value professional legacies more than checks.


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