Golf: Hometown hero Spieth seeks more PGA Colonial success

Spieth playing his shot from the third tee during the final round of the AT&T Byron Nelson. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Three-time major winner Jordan Spieth seeks his first victory since last year's British Open at this week's PGA Fort Worth Invitational, where he produced top-two finishes the past three years.

Spieth arrives at Colonial Country Club, just down the road from his hometown of Dallas, after placing 21st at the Byron Nelson and 41st at the Players following his third-place Masters showing.

The 7,209-yard, par-70 Colonial layout has been a tonic for Spieth the past few years. He was runner-up in 2015, one stroke behind compatriot Chris Kirk, and the winner in 2016 by three strokes before losing again by a shot last year to American Kevin Kisner.

"I don't struggle reading the greens at Colonial," Spieth said.

And Spieth, with 11 PGA wins at age 24, looks forward to even the most tedious work in improving his game with the US Open looming in June and his defense of the Claret Jug in July at Carnoustie.

"I'm waking up excited about anything that's off in my game. I'm enjoying working at it," Spieth said.

"I'm trying to find new and better ways to be a better player and if the results come right away great and if it takes a little while I'm OK with that at this point. I'm taking a more patient approach to peaks and valleys throughout my career."

The field also includes American Webb Simpson, in his first event since winning the Players Championship, and Spain's Jon Rahm, who shared second at Colonial last year and vows to grind his way against all rivals this week.

"I fight every single shot," Rahm said. "It doesn't matter if it's the last shot on 18 on Sunday or the first shot on the first hole on Thursday. I'm going to grind just as hard on each one of them."

England's Justin Rose makes his first Colonial start since 2010 while Rickie Fowler makes his first appearance at the course since 2014. Major winners Jimmy Walker and Adam Scott are also in the lineup on a layout that has hosted a PGA event since legend Ben Hogan won the inaugural title in 1946.

Hogan remains the only player to win at Colonial in back-to-back years.

Two-time Colonial winner Zach Johnson, the 2007 Masters and 2015 British Open winner, likes the Texas layout. Only Hogan with five wins has won more often at the famed layout.

"It's almost like a quasi home for me on the PGA Tour," Johnson said. "It requires patience more than anything. It is one where the fairways are a premium. The rough can be difficult, especially from a control standpoint. And then when the greens get firm, this place can be pretty trying."

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