Spieth: I'm almost back at my best

By Sports Desk May 19, 2019

Jordan Spieth believes he is close to recapturing his best form after finishing tied for third at the US PGA Championship.

The three-time major champion posted his first top-10 finish since last year's Open Championship, ending up six shots behind winner Brooks Koepka.

Spieth has fallen to 30th in the world rankings after a tough run, but feels he is nearing the form that saw him win three majors from 2015 to 2017.

"It says that I have full belief in our team. I have full belief in my process, my mentality, my selfishness and my work ethic," he said.

"I put in more hours over the last five months than I've ever put in my game in a five-month stretch, just trying to get to where I can be out here on a major championship Sunday making par saves, making birdie putts, and contending even without having my best stuff.

"That's like 2015, 2016, 2017, that's how I felt then."

Spieth fired a one-over 71 in the final round at a tough Bethpage Black, where he felt it was always going to be difficult.

The 25-year-old said: "I knew coming into the week that it was unlikely on this golf course that I was going to have a chance to win.

"That's a humbling feeling for me, but I knew that if I played the course the right way, had the right mentality, kept putting the way I've been putting, that I would be in it; that I would be, you know, in and having a chance to make some noise."

Related items

  • Late starter Woodland 'trending in right direction' after rising to career-high ranking Late starter Woodland 'trending in right direction' after rising to career-high ranking

    Gary Woodland has risen to a career-high world ranking of 12 after his triumph at the U.S. Open, with the American "trending in the right direction" having only committed to golf after starting college.

    Woodland produced a superb performance at Pebble Beach to win the first major of his career and prevent Brooks Koepka becoming only the second man to claim three successive U.S. Open titles.

    He had not previously been ranked inside the top 20 but is now on the fringes of the top 10 in a sport that for him was initially second to basketball.

    In his post-tournament media conference Woodland spoke about how he knew needed to give up basketball for golf after guarding NBA player Kirk Hinrich during his time at Washburn University.

    Woodland transferred to Kansas to play collegiate golf and has always felt he has been at a disadvantage to those who focused on the sport earlier in life.

    However, after becoming the sixth player to win the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach - joining the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Tom Watson - he believes he is narrowing the gap.

    "I think from a golf standpoint I've always been a little behind just from what you're talking about, guys that have grown up doing this their whole life," Woodland said.

    "But from a competitive standpoint, I don't think I was behind at all. I competed all my life at every sport and every level. It was just learning how to play golf.

    "It was learning to complete my game, to get that short game, to get that putting, to drive the golf ball straighter. And that was the big deal.

    "From a golf standpoint, I was probably a little behind, and that gets frustrating at some points, because my whole life I've been able to compete and win at everything I've done, and I haven't been able to do that as much as I'd like to in golf.

    "It's taken a while, but I think we're trending in the right direction."

  • Rose bemoans lack of 'A-game' after U.S. Open challenge fades Rose bemoans lack of 'A-game' after U.S. Open challenge fades

    Justin Rose conceded his bid for U.S. Open glory was undermined by not having his "A-game" all week at Pebble Beach.

    First-time major winner Gary Woodland teed off on Sunday with a one-stroke lead over Rose, but a three-over par 74 saw the Englishman finish six shots off the pace.

    It meant a share of third position alongside Xander Schauffele, Jon Rahm and Chez Reavie for the world number three and 2013 champion.

    Knowing what it takes to claim one of golf's biggest prizes, Rose acknowledged he was not where he needed to be over the course of the past four days.

    "There's no point in letting it hurt too much," he said. "It hurts if you lose at the death and you make a mistake.

    "The way it happened for me here, I'm more proud of the fact I even gave myself a chance. I didn't have my A-game this week.

    "And to contend in a major with no game, really, I take the positive from that. I came out and responded early with a couple of good swings, made birdie, felt really good, drove it great down the middle of two.

    "I felt good within myself in the situation [but] you need to be really on point. And I just gave a couple of cheap bogeys away early on the back nine."

    Rose finished tied for second at last year's Open Championship and is looking forward to the final major of 2019 at Royal Portrush.

    "I'm getting closer for sure and I'm getting hungrier, and I'm determined. So I feel good about preparing for that one now," he added.

    "And in these situations you definitely enjoy them and want more of them. Today there's still a couple of things to be learned from.

    "You can't get sloppy out there. It shows up in these big events if that happens down the stretch."

  • A first major sweep since 1982? – Woodland's U.S. Open win continues American dominance A first major sweep since 1982? – Woodland's U.S. Open win continues American dominance

    Brooks Koepka's win at the U.S. Open two years ago triggered a period of dominance for both himself and American golfers at majors.

    Gary Woodland secured his first major title at Pebble Beach on Sunday, winning the U.S. Open by three strokes from Koepka.

    It continued what has been a wonderful run for Americans since Koepka's success at Erin Hills.

    Men from the United States have now won nine of the past 10 majors and, if they can lift the Claret Jug at The Open next month, they will sweep all four in a year for the first time since 1982.

    We take a look at the run that started in 2017.

     

    2019 U.S. Open: Gary Woodland

    Woodland impressively claimed his first major title, holding off a surge from Koepka in the fourth round. They were the only two players to shoot four rounds in the 60s and Woodland sealed his win with a 30-foot birdie putt at the last.

    2019 US PGA Championship: Brooks Koepka

    Koepka has dominated this period, winning four majors including back-to-back US PGA and U.S. Open titles. Rounds of 63 and 65 to open at Bethpage Black this year set up a wire-to-wire two-stroke win.

    2019 Masters: Tiger Woods

    Undoubtedly the most unforgettable win of this lot was Woods' 15th major title and first since 2008. Woods secured a one-shot victory, birdies at the 15th and 16th holes closing out a memorable win.

    2018 US PGA Championship: Brooks Koepka

    It was Woodland who led at the halfway mark at Bellerive despite Koepka's second-round seven-under 63. Not even Woods (64 in the final round) could deny Koepka, who fired back-to-back 66s on the weekend to secure the title.

    2018 U.S. Open: Brooks Koepka

    Koepka recovered from an opening 75 at Shinnecock Hills, where he went into the final round in a four-way tie for the lead. Tommy Fleetwood charged home with a 63, but Koepka's two-under 68 was enough for a one-shot win.

    2018 Masters: Patrick Reed

    Reed took control in the second round at Augusta and his only round in the 70s – a 71 on Sunday – was enough to hold off Rickie Fowler. Reed was fourth at the U.S. Open that followed, but has failed to finish in the top 25 in the five majors since.

    2017 US PGA Championship: Justin Thomas

    Thomas claimed his only major title so far at Quail Hollow almost two years ago. The American fired rounds of 69 and 68 on the weekend to edge out last year's Open champion Francesco Molinari, Louis Oosthuizen and Reed.

    2017 Open Championship: Jordan Spieth

    Spieth was in control early at Royal Birkdale on his way to a third major title. However, a three-shot overnight lead disappeared in the final round before he produced an incredible birdie-eagle-birdie-birdie run beginning at 14 to earn a three-shot win over Matt Kuchar.

    2017 U.S. Open: Brooks Koepka

    The start of Koepka's run was in Wisconsin. He tied the U.S. Open record by reaching 16 under, which was enough for a four-stroke victory over third-round leader Brian Harman and Hideki Matsuyama.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.