Pros advice

Spieth takes down Reed, sets sights on McIlroy


Jordan Spieth dispatched of a tricky Patrick Reed at the Velspar to record his second PGA Tour victory – and the 21-year-old now has his sights set on dethroning McIlroy.

Spieth showed his deep supply of skill as he overcame Ryder Cup teammate Reed and compatriot Sean O’ Hair in a scintillating play-off at Innisbrook, Florida.

The win comes on the heels of back-to-back wins at the turn of the year for Spieth, who claimed victory at Tiger Woods’ Hero World Challenge and the Australian Open, making him a strong favourite to threaten McIlroy’s dominance.

And the anoraks among you will know that Spieth joins an elite club of four players including Tiger Woods, Sergio Garcia and Robert Gamez as the only golfers to have recorded two PGA Tour wins before their 22nd birthday.

“I like studying the game, I’m a historian of the game,” Spieth said.

“It's really cool to have my name, you know, go alongside those. But right now currently and what I'm really focused on is Rory McIlroy is No. 1 in the world. That's who everyone is trying to chase.

“That's our ultimate goal is to eventually, you know, be the best in the world and this is a great, great stepping stone.

“Going into the four Majors of the year to have closed one out in this kind of fashion is going to give me a lot of confidence.”

Spieth came gut-wrenchingly close to adding a Masters trophy to his budding cabinet last year, but came up short after failing to keep his putting in check. However, this year the American is confident he’s worked out the kinks.

“That's something that in those wins at the end of last year, Australia, I putted incredibly well on Sunday and proved that to myself that I could do that,” he said.

“When I was in contention prior I struggled with those five, six footers or even four footers that I needed or just to make even a 15, 18 footer, just have something go in from a decent range on the back-9 Sunday.

"I'm getting better and better at, grinding over those four, 5-footers and knocking them in the back. Those putting stats have improved significantly. That's why my short game is better.

“I think that if I continue to make those and obviously practice all the shots that I have, then it's only going to bring confidence in the rest of my game.”

Spieth is currently sixth in the World Rankings following his Velspar victory.


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