Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Rejuvenated Spieth switches focus back to PGA Tour

Rejuvenated Spieth switches focus back to PGA Tour

CALIFORNIA - Refreshed after a globe-trotting run of tournaments that took him from Hawaii to Abu Dhabi and then Singapore, Jordan Spieth returns to the PGA Tour with high hopes for this week's Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in California.

The American world number one has finished no worse than joint seventh in his last seven starts worldwide while winning twice, and relishes competing in the pro-am celebrity event on the picturesque Monterey Peninsula.

"My game feels good," Masters and US Open champion Spieth, 22, told Golf Channel on Wednesday while preparing for Thursday's opening round. "I played 18 holes the last couple of days, once on Pebble and once on Cypress, so if you're not refreshed after doing that, I don't know what's going to refresh you.

"I had a good week of rest coming back from Singapore, a couple of close finishes overseas and I am trying to look to rebound and maybe feel a bit more comfortable on the PGA Tour and hopefully get out there and capitalise with a win."

Spieth tied for fifth at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship and finished second at the Singapore Open in his last two starts, and is looking forward to this week when his amateur partner will be American country music singer Jake Owen.

"A great pairing, being with Jake as my partner and then with Dustin (Johnson) and the Great One (former ice hockey great Wayne Gretzky)," said the Texan.

"We had it (the same pairing) last year, so we kind of already know each other's games and we are rooting for each other. I'm really just going to focus on the fun aspects this week.

"When you do that, it kind of frees you up and you are a little more aggressive," said Spieth, whose last two victories came at the season-ending Tour Championship in September and the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in Hawaii last month.

Spieth heads a strong field this week that features five other players ranked in the world's top 10, including Australian Jason Day (third), American Bubba Watson (sixth) and England's Justin Rose (seventh).

Also competing is defending champion Brandt Snedeker, who was beaten in a playoff for the Sony Open in Hawaii before winning the weather-delayed Farmers Insurance Open in two of his last three starts on the PGA Tour.

"I'm excited about being back, I'm excited about trying to defend and more importantly my game is in good shape so I'm excited about what that holds for the rest of the week," said the 35-year-old American.

"When you get on these hot runs, you feel like this is the way the game of golf should be played ... you need to make sure you make the most out of it." The $7 million PGA Tour event will be played on three courses: the hosting Pebble Beach Golf Links and its sister venues Spyglass Hill and Monterey Peninsula Shore. -Reuters