04/16 15:07 CDT Spieth ready for more after Masters success
Spieth ready for more after Masters success
AP Sports Writer
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (AP) --- Get ready, Augusta National. Jordan Spieth
can't wait for another chance at that green jacket.
The 20-year-old Spieth is in the field at the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf
Links that starts Thursday. He gave no thought to withdrawing after the grind
of the Masters, instead feeling energized by his runner-up finish to Bubba
"It definitely left me hungry and ready to play golf again," he said. "And
ready to eventually get back there again, which is, I think, the only way to
kind of redeem myself."
In the fans' view during his pro-am round Wednesday, no redemption was
necessary. Spieth was continually stopped by spectators, players, caddies and
others on the grounds, who patted him on the back or shook his hand.
Spieth's caddie, Michael Greller, told him, "Man, I've never seen somebody get
so many congratulations for losing."
"And he's right," Spieth said.
Spieth rose to No. 9 in the world this week, the youngest American to make the
top 10, and he plans for another big week at Harbour Town. He tied for ninth
here a year ago, his first time playing the treacherously tight Pete Dye
layout. This time, he's got a bit of job audition, too, paired the next two
days with past and present U.S. Ryder Cup captains in Davis Love III and Tom
"A huge goal of mine has always been, my whole life, to make a Ryder Cup team,"
Spieth said. "So playing with the captain, I'm sure there will be some extra
nerves there trying to impress him."
Watson's already impressed. He says Spieth showed poise and passion in the
final pairing Sunday, qualities the captain covets as he prepares an American
team for the Ryder Cup matches at Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland this September.
"He's very mature and he has a good sense of who he is," Watson said. "I like
that about him."
Bubba Watson is off this week, something every Masters champion has done since
Zach Johnson followed a victory at Augusta National in 2007 by playing here a
few days later.
Seven of the world's top 25 players are in the field. Matt Kuchar, who tied for
fifth at the Masters, is the top-ranked player at No. 6. Fifth-ranked Jason Day
was scheduled to play but withdrew earlier this week with a thumb injury.
Others here include Johnson (12th) and defending champion Graeme McDowell
Tom Watson is playing Harbour Town for the first time since 2001. This is
mostly a fact-finding mission to meet and talk with players who might end up as
captain's picks when his selections are revealed after the PGA Championship.
CBS Sports analyst and six-time major champion Nick Faldo is also making a rare
PGA Tour appearance, teeing it up at Harbour Town for the first time since
2006. Does he have a TV substitute lined up should he get in contention on the
course where he won his first U.S. tournament 30 years ago?
"Well, Jim (Nantz) likes talking," Faldo said with a grin.
The likelihood is whoever's in the booth will be talking about Spieth.
He said as he did at Augusta that he expected to contend for the title and
wasn't surprised when he held that two-shot lead on Sunday's front nine. He
wished he had the water ball back on his tee shot on the par-3 12th, but
pledged to use those errors the next time he's in position to strike.
"There's nothing that's haunting me from last week," he said. "I feel like I
played really well to not shoot an over-par round on that course and not make
more than a bogey for four days the way that course was playing."
Spieth had an eventful pro-am round, getting hit on the back of the knee by a
wayward wedge shot from a member of his group on the 18th hole. He went to the
ground, but quickly got up and doesn't expect to feel any effects this week as
he counts down to his next time at Augusta.
"I truly believe that I'll be back," he said.