Insider: Spieth's busy schedule is paying off
Jordan Spieth has fond memories of Muirfield Village, expected to contend at the Memorial Tournament
May 28, 2014
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
- During the last 18 months, Jordan Spieth has played in 43 tournaments but says he's fresh for the Memorial. (Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
DUBLIN, Ohio -- The last couple of weeks were hectic for Jordan Spieth as the PGA TOUR swung through his hometown.
The good news? In between all the obligations that go with being the big star in the Big D, he was able to spend time sharpening his game with the year’s second major championship just two weeks away.
“Coming into here I feel more relaxed,” Spieth said Tuesday from Muirfield Village Golf Club, site of this week’s the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance. “A lot of this year is about trying to peak for the major championships.
“Obviously every time you step on a tee you want to win a tournament, and I believe that I can each week. And so we've had a game plan now since Augusta to get ready for the U.S. Open. I think it's falling into place nicely.”
Not that it will be easy.
Since turning pro last year, Spieth has played a lot of golf.
Over the last 72 weeks, he has teed it up 43 of them. Spieth’s passport has filled up along the way with stops in China, Scotland, Panama and Colombia, not to mention tournaments all over this country.
This week’s tournament is his fourth in as many weeks. It’s also the second time this year he has played for a month straight.
Being just 20 years old helps.
“I’ve played a lot of golf over the last couple of years, but I enjoy it and I'm not tired,” Spieth said.
It has shown in the results, too.
Spieth already has a half-dozen top-10 finishes in the 2013-14 season, which include a runner-up at the Masters and a fourth-place finish at THE PLAYERS Championship earlier this month.
For those keeping score, he also finished second at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, fourth at Pebble Beach and was fifth at the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship.
He won’t be cutting back on his schedule anytime soon, either.
For one, he feels an obligation to events that gave him sponsor exemptions when he was an amateur. For another, the golf season will only get busier with Spieth playing as many as eight events in nine weeks from mid-July through the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola.
Spieth also wanted to play at places where he has performed well, and he wasn’t going to miss Jack Nicklaus’ annual tournament in central Ohio, where he played while in college and in his first Presidents Cup, where he became the youngest American player in the event’s history.
Suddenly his calendar was full.
“I took two weeks off on two tournaments I played last year that I really enjoyed playing last year, and I hope to go back to New Orleans and Charlotte,” Spieth said. “But I can't play every event. A two‑week break in two four‑week stretches here, I think it was really important to get that rest and really get some fire back.
“I was anxious by the end of that first week to get back out, and I had to wait another week. So that was nice. I felt like I got fresh legs for this stretch, and then after this week I'll go home and get fresh legs and kind of pick apart these last four weeks on what I really need to focus on in preparation for the U.S. Open.”
Then there’s the fact that he has never played Pinehurst -- he didn’t compete in the U.S. Amateur when it was held there in 2008.
Of course he hadn’t played Augusta National prior to this year, either, and he led the Masters with 11 holes to play before finishing second.
Spieth also picked the brain of USGA President Tom O’Toole earlier this week when the two played nine holes together during an event at Inverness.
“I like the fact (Pinehurst has) run‑off areas and I like sand,” Spieth said. “I feel like playing off sand is an advantage of mine. And then I think it's going to be a second‑shot golf course, an approach‑shot golf course … controlling your second shot, which is what people talk about Augusta. So I'm going into it with good vibes and a lot of confidence.”
And with a lot of golf already under his belt before his 21st birthday.
“It's been an amazing journey,” Spieth said. “I'm living my dream, which is really cool.”
And it's just beginning.
Jordan Spieth on Muirfield Village and his schedule before the Memorial