Jordan Spieth Looking to Capitalize on Recent Good Form Coming Into Kiawah
In early April, after Jordan Spieth won the Valero Texas Open, he took to Instagram with a trophy shot and just one word: progress.
This week at the PGA Championship, Spieth looks to make even more progress in his sparkling career and try to win the career Grand Slam, again.
Indeed, Spieth, who burst out of the gates after turning professional – winning the Masters and the U.S. Open in 2015 before adding The Open Championship to his major championship trophy case two years later – struggled mightily the last four years. His Claret Jug victory in 2017 was his last win anywhere in the world until his victory in Texas earlier this year.
But Spieth has rounded into form. He’s matured. It’s a bit of a trope, but he’s gained perspective – via marriage, to his high school sweetheart in 2018, and via how this crazy game inspires people with a constant pursuit of perfection.
He’s kept his squad in tact – caddie Michael Greller and coach Cameron McCormick have been alongside Spieth through the good and the bad for nearly a decade now – and he comes to the Ocean Course this week wrapped in a chase for history.
“It’s been a long road that’s had a lot of tough days,” said Spieth after his win in April. “I’ve had people in my corner that have always believed in me, even when I’ve believed less in myself.”
Now Spieth does believe in himself, along with his team, since he comes to Kiawah Island playing the best golf he has in years.
“Majors… that’s what we’re trying to peak for,” said Spieth at the Ocean Course on Tuesday. “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 tee-to-green that I’ve been in, all I can ask for is a chance.”
This marks Spieth’s fifth attempt to try to make history – only Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, and Tiger Woods have won the career Grand Slam – and it’s certainly not getting easier. The longest any golfer went from winning the third part of the Grand Slam to getting all four was just three years.
"It's something that I really want. It's probably the No. 1 goal in the game of golf for me right now is to try and capture that,'' said Spieth at the PGA Championship in 2020 at TPC Harding Park. "I'd love to be able to hold all four trophies, and this is the one that comes in the way right now.''
Also in 2020, Spieth was asked what he would have said if someone would have told him three years prior that he would still be in the midst of a winless drought in the majors.
“If you told me that, I'd probably say that guy is kind of a jerk and I'd walk the other way,” said Spieth with a laugh, “but here we are, and I hope to end that as soon as possible.”
Spieth has, however, had great opportunities to make his park at the PGA Championship.
In that magical year of 2015 Spieth finished second at Whistling Straits (finishing three shots behind Jason Day’s 20-under winning total) and finished tied for third in 2019. Despite his struggles since 2017 Spieth hasn’t missed the cut at the PGA Championship in any of the last six editions.
“Majors aren't necessarily totally about form,” said Spieth in 2020. “They're about experience and being able to grind it out, picking apart golf courses, so I feel like I probably have more confidence going into a major no matter where my game is at than any other golf tournament.”
Spieth has much to be confident about in 2021. He has six top-10s on the PGA Tour this year, including a third-place result at the Masters in April, a week after his victory in Texas, and a tie for ninth last week at the AT&T Byron Nelson – and he’s back betting on himself.
“I’ve always done that and I feel like that’s paid off pretty well to this point,” said Spieth on Tuesday. “If any of the next eight years are like my last eight years, I’d certainly sign up for that.”
The only thing Spieth would like to change, perhaps, is going winless at the PGA Championship. He’ll search for PGA Championship glory, and history, again this week.