Spieth expects 2016 to be 'adventurous' again

LOS ANGELES • Having surpassed his own expectations by some distance on the 2014-15 PGA Tour, newly anointed Player of the Year Jordan Spieth is not yet sure what his goals will be as the golfer prepares for next season.

Five victories, including two at the Majors, highlighted a remarkable campaign for the American world No. 1 and the only clear part of how he will try to build on that success next year will hinge on golf's four blue riband events.

"It's hard for me to tell," Spieth, 22, said on Friday after being voted the PGA Tour's Player of the Year by fellow professionals. "I imagine that the goal (next year) will be to win a Major, and if not accomplished, it will be hopefully a great year away from those, or at least have a lot of close calls.

"But that's obviously going to be the primary focus."

Spieth conceded that his objectives for the 2014-15 PGA Tour season had been specific but fell well short of how his banner campaign eventually panned out.

"We had great years in '13 and '14 but still nothing was necessarily pointing to two Majors, some more wins and Player of the Year," said the American. He had won only once on the PGA Tour before the 2014-15 season.

"My goals were to try to win two to three times on the Tour this year as well as compete and be in contention in at least two Majors, make the cut in all four and make the Presidents Cup.

"It was a season to remember and, as far as Majors go, it very much exceeded expectations."

He ended the PGA Tour season with record earnings of US$12,030,465 (S$17 million), eclipsing the previous mark of US$10,905,166 established by Vijay Singh in 2004.

Asked to sum up his campaign in one word, Spieth said: "I'd probably say adventurous. It was incredible there in the spring... on and off the course, the craziness that comes with what happened after Augusta (permanent venue for Masters).

"You can't go into a restaurant without taking pictures. Stuff that you didn't have happened necessarily before, just being recognised in the non-golf community... It's going to continue to be adventurous."

The form shown by Spieth and Jason Day this season has given Rory McIlroy the hunger to improve his game and make up for a "lost year".

The four-time Major winner has dropped from first to third in the world behind No. 2 Day and Spieth.

"It's motivating to see what these guys are doing," McIlroy, 26, who was hit by injuries this season, told the BBC. " It has definitely given me that sense of hunger again."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 04, 2015, with the headline 'Spieth expects 2016 to be 'adventurous' again'. Print Edition | Subscribe