Golf: Spieth chases career Grand Slam and fourth major win at PGA

Jordan Spieth on the thirteenth hole, during a practice round for the 2022 PGA Championship. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

TULSA, UNITED STATES (AFP) - Three-time major winner Jordan Spieth resists calling this week's PGA Championship his best chance to complete a career Grand Slam, but the way he's playing, it just might be.

The 28-year-old American tees off on Thursday (May 19) at Southern Hills alongside Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy in his sixth try at completing a sweep of wins in all four major tournaments.

"I think it would be pretty cool," Spieth said.

"Having won the other three, it's an elephant in the room for me. It's a goal of mine." Eighth-ranked Spieth won last month's US PGA Heritage title and was runner-up last week at Dallas in his hometown PGA Byron Nelson event.

"I like where things are at," Spieth said. "I wish they were just a little tighter. I hope to get it that way."

Now, he hungers to add to a major trophy haul that includes the 2015 Masters and US Open and 2017 British Open.

"If you just told me I was going to win one tournament the rest of my life, I'd say I want to win this one, given where things are at," Spieth said.

"Long term it would be really cool to say that you captured the four biggest golf tournaments in the world that are played in different parts of the world and different styles, too. So you feel like you kind of accomplished golf when you win a career Grand Slam."

If he does, Spieth would join a select club of golf icons that includes Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Gene Sarazen and Ben Hogan.

Spieth wouldn't say this was his best chance so far to pull it off, citing his share of third at the 2019 PGA at Bethpage Black, although he was nine strokes adrift of leader and eventual champion Brooks Koepka and finished six off the pace.

"I would say Saturday night of Bethpage, considering I only had one round to go and I had a chance," Spieth said.

"When it's Wednesday it's hard to say it's the best chance because you've got to play three nice rounds to have a chance on Sunday."

Spieth, runner-up to Australian Jason Day at the 2015 PGA, is ready for the crowds that will follow the amazing comeback journey of Woods.

"I feel good heading into this week, so try and settle into this pairing the first two days and have fun with it," Spieth said.

Not trying to force it

Spieth said contending in a major feels about the same anywhere, so he takes a long-term approach to the career Slam quest.

"Looking at it long-term thinking, man, if I'm healthy, I'd look to have 20 chances at it. Maybe one out of 20, I normally get better odds than that," Spieth said.

"I think just more look at the long term, how many chances you're going to get, and maybe the bounces will go your way one of those weeks.

"I'm not trying to force it this week. Just try and do what I've been doing, stick to my routine, my game, block out any outside noise, and shoot as low a score as I can."

Southern Hills is a course that reminds Spieth of Colonial, a home area favorite.

"I like the golf course itself," Spieth said. "Reminds me a lot of Colonial, just a little bit on steroids, a little more undulation and driver in your hands more.

"I really enjoy playing this golf course and I like where I'm coming in with where my game is at."

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