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May 15 2013

2:11 PM

Spieth gets shot to cash Nelson checks

By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM

IRVING, Texas -- If he makes the cut this week, Jordan Spieth will finally get a paycheck at the HP Byron Nelson Championship.

The 19-year-old Spieth, in his first season as a pro, is making his third appearance in his hometown event. As a 16-year-old in 2010, he opened with three rounds in the 60s and eventually finished tied for 16th. The next year, he finished tied for 32nd.

But as an amateur, he couldn't accept the money that came with those two results, thus leaving $129,442.85 on the table.

"You can look at the magazine or the newspaper the day after and see what everyone else that tied with you made, and it shows a big fat zero next to your name," Spieth said Wednesday. "So it's nice to be able to, you know, get money for playing golf."

Just like his previous appearances here, Spieth is playing on a sponsor's exemption, this time as a Special Temporary Member. That means he has unlimited sponsor's exemptions for the rest of the year in hopes of earning his PGA TOUR card for the 2013-14 season. He's well on his way, having earned $699,472 in nine starts.

And unlike his previous two starts here, he's no longer living at home. He now has an apartment in Dallas -- "a cool spot downtown" -- and has a roommate, former University of Texas teammate Alex Moon.

But something that hasn't changed is his desire to play well in this event. He's played the TPC Four Seasons Resort course quite often and his previous results indicate he should be in for a productive week.

"I've thought about this event from the beginning of the year, and I think about it leading up to it, how can I prepare for the Nelson," Spieth said.

"I wouldn't consider it a fifth major because I don't know if I'm going to play in any majors this year, but it's definitely special. It's dear to my heart... If I were to choose one to win as soon as I can, it would be this one right now."

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