Spieth Looks to his Improved Performance for a Tilt at Elusive Major

Jordan Spieth
Jordan Spieth

Jordan Spieth looks forward to continuing his return to form at the US PGA Championship this weekend, in the hope that he could complete a career grand slam by winning the only major that has alluded him across his 12-year career.

The excitement for the 2021 PGA Championship at Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course is building with the Championship teeing off on Friday morning New Zealand time.

Spieth is in a group with Korn Ferry Tour player and runner-up in this year’s Masters Will Zalatoris and Webb Simpson.

Spieth, who had weather delays getting out of Dallas and was set to play the course for the first time Tuesday afternoon, is up to 26th in the world, eighth in the FedExCup. That’s not up to the standards he set in 2015 when he was No. 1 in both.

What does it mean to be back, anyway? Winning on Tour? Spieth has done that. Winning his fourth major? It could happen this week. Revisiting the peaks he reached in 2015? That year, of course, is when Spieth won five times, including the Masters, U.S. Open, Tour Championship and FedExCup. He was Player of the Year and reached No. 1 in the world.

But that metric is problematic, as well.

“I was actually a better player in 2017,” he said, “but everyone just looks at results. I had a lower scoring average. I was better tee to green. I was a better player.”

Spieth said he’s tried to stay level-headed amid the mass hysteria of his high highs and low lows.

“It’s golf,” he said.

He said he’s not thinking about the Slam and won’t until the weekend – and that’s only if he’s contending. “I feel like I’ll have a lot of chances at this tournament,” he said, “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.”

Just a chance. For some players – the most riveting, can’t-turn-away players – it’s all they need. And that’s why the Slam is very much in play at Kiawah. As Zalatoris, Daniel Berger, Matt Kuchar and others know well, when Jordan Spieth things start happening, anything is possible.

No Kiwis were accepted in the PGA Championship field.

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