Friday 21 October 2016

Spieth aiming to pick up

Jordan Spieth is hoping to continue his momentum from last year. Photo: Danny Lawson/PA.
Jordan Spieth is hoping to continue his momentum from last year. Photo: Danny Lawson/PA.

World number one Jordan Spieth is treating the new year as a continuation of the old one as he looks to repeat his phenomenal achievements of last season.

Spieth won the Masters and US Open and finished fourth in the Open at St Andrews, missing out on a play-off by a single shot as he looked to win the third leg of an unprecedented calendar grand slam.

The 22-year-old was also second behind Jason Day in the US PGA Championship before winning the Tour Championship in September to win the overall FedEx Cup title and £6.8million bonus.

After helping the United States retain the Presidents Cup in Korea, Spieth had three weeks off before finishing seventh in the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai, which was part of the 2015 European Tour but on the 2016 PGA Tour schedule.

Spieth also competed in the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas in December and travelled to Hawaii a week before the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, a £4million event featuring 32 PGA Tour winners from last season.

"I'm not even thinking of it as a new year," Spieth told a pre-tournament press conference. "I'm just thinking of we had a three-week break and we're just continuing to hopefully stay at the same level.

"I played a few weeks ago. We just had a long enough time for me to sit down with Cameron (McCormick, his coach) after some time off and say, 'All right, here's what we're going to start to do' and we did that strictly by going over statistics.

"We figured out that specifically my wedge play needs to get better, proximity to the hole and up-and-down percentage, from 60 to 140 yards or so. I felt like my wedge play was average last season, and it was as average as any category that we had."

Spieth was reluctant to outline specific goals for the season, instead preferring t o take a long-term view when asked how he planned to produce an encore to last year.

"Doesn't an encore mean that the show is then over?" he said with a smile. "I hope I've got like 40 years out here... To be honest, I'm not thinking of this (year) as anything different. When you write the date, that's about it in my mind. I think we've just had a little bit of a break.

"I'm going to keep a lot of that within our team on the actual (goals), but certainly got to be there in a couple of the major championships come Sunday and have a chance to do what we did this past year; we had a chance each of the four Sundays.

"So if I can get there at least a couple times this year again, that means that our plan building up to the majors is working."

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