Friday, July 10, 2015

Jordan Spieth and preparation (not H)

As we know, Jordan Spieth has already won the first two golfing majors this year. He slam dunked the Masters but was fortunate in the US Open when Dustin Johnson 3-putted from 12 feet on the final hole. Nevertheless, few would doubt the 21 year old is as good as it gets in today's golfing world. Young Spieth is certainly looking forward to the British Open next week in his quest for yet another major.

That's what makes his recent play (and commentary) so curious.

After the US Open at Chambers Bay, basically a links course, Spieth took some time off. But he's back this week at the John Deere Classic in Illinois. Spieth shot a ho-hum opening round of even par, but blistered the course with a 7-under 64 in his second round. He went from hovering around the cut line to back in the hunt. How he will fare over the weekend is anybody's guess. With a somewhat watered-down field in a tourney the week before The Open, it wouldn't be at all surprising if Spieth chalks up another win.

But Jordan has said this was a tune up for the Open next week at the Old Course of St. Andrews. That doesn't make any sense.

If he took time off after playing and winning the closest thing to a links course in America, why would he go back to playing another typical American course on the eve of the Open? At the John Deere, the course has the usual PGA fairways, rough, trees, traps, water hazards, and soft greens.

So why play such a course that demands a totally different game than St. Andrews will pose next week? Wouldn't it have been wiser to stay in Chambers Bay mode and already be over in jolly old England practicing on another links course in his quest for the Claret Jug? You never saw Jack or Eldrick playing in a second tier tournament the week before a major. They were honing their game for the bigger challenge and much tougher field that lied ahead. Unlike the John Deere, all the big boys -- minus Rory McIlroy -- will be there.

Here's wishing Jordan Spieth all the best. Though he's currently several shots behind at the Tractor Open, if he goes out and shoots a couple more stellar rounds, entirely possible, he just might win this thing. You don't win the Masters and US Open back to back on a fluke. This dude is the real deal with a complete game.

But he's not doing himself any favors by warming up on an American course to get ready for the Open. That's like NASCAR drivers running test laps at a short track the week before Daytona or Talladega. Sure, they still go as fast as they can and turn left, but it's nowhere near the same set-up that awaits them the following week.

It will be interesting to see how Spieth's "preparation" plays out at the Royal and Ancient course. If he pulls off another victory for the third leg of a same-year Grand Slam --  which has never been done --  can you imagine the hype that will build leading up to the final major (PGA) in a few weeks?

Here's hoping he does. Spieth is the best thing to come out of Texas since, um, um, um, well let's just say the boy has some serious potential.

No comments:

Post a Comment