Jordan Spieth on Thursday will begin Round 1 of the PGA Championship, and thus, officially begin his pursuit of a career Grand Slam.
A rousing victory at the Open Championship gave Spieth four majors under his belt, leaving him just one major shy of the greatest accomplishment in golf.
Spieth’s dominance can be overlooked at times, in part because of the gap in between winning majors, but that he has won four majors in two years, by age 24, leaves him as one of the most dominant golfers in the world.
And as he told reports on Wednesday, it’s his age that keeps him from putting pressure on himself to win a Grand Slam (via ASAP Sports).
“Expectations, I really don’t feel any. This whole, this is a chance to complete the career Grand Slam; I’m here, so I’m going to go ahead and try. But I believe I’m going to have plenty of chances, and I’m young enough to believe in my abilities that it will happen at some point.
“Do I have to be the youngest? No, I don’t feel that kind of pressure. Would it be really cool? Absolutely. And I don’t come to a tournament unless I plan on giving it my all in preparation to have a chance and to ultimately close a tournament out.
“Expectations, I wouldn’t even really put it on the radar.”
Much of Spieth’s press conference revolved around his age and the lofty expectations he set for himself with his breakout 2015 season. Spieth, again, sounded calm and unconcerned throughout it. Asked about how he views 2016 and ’17 compared to his 2015 season, Spieth said he’s learned to temper expectations.
“It’s not likely to match a season like that, maybe ever, again,” Spieth said. “But I’ve got an opportunity this year. You know, if I can get the job done this week, and then run into the Playoffs with the same kind of momentum, then I would consider it as good or a better year than even then, which is pretty cool. But I understand it’s not as easy as I just said it.”
Likewise, Spieth now has a new lens through which to view his seasons.
“The way to get better is to find what you would call your middle ground, right, your typical year, or your average of the years, and try and raise that bar a little bit so that the highers get higher and the lowers get a little higher.”
Spieth was also asked about playing against Rory McIlroy, who also is one major away from a Grand Slam. Spieth praised McIlroy’s game and said the most exciting part of their friendly rivalry is their age.
“I think it’s cool that we’ve both had the success that we’ve had at such a young age, and I think the coolest part about it is the question of, what’s it going to be like for the next 20, 25 years,” Spieth said. “And that’s kind of what is the exciting part when we think about it, too.”
With a win at Quail Hollow, Spieth would cement himself in golf history. If not, he’s not worried about it — the day will come eventually.
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