World number six Jordan Spieth believes his game is on the cusp of coming good after a handful of poor results this year.
What better time to shine than in front of your family and home fans in Dallas, which is exactly where this week’s AT&T Byron Nelson tees off.
While the Texan has not won the tournament, it already has a pretty special place in the memory bank. In 2010, at the tender age of 16, Spieth became the youngest player to enter the tournament as the defending US Amateur champion and was helped by a sponsor’s exemption.
As a result, winning this event would mean a lot to Spieth, who attended school just 20 minutes from the Four Seasons Resort where he will tee off on Thursday.
“This one is definitely more home for me being in Dallas versus Fort Worth,” the 23-year-old told pgatour.com.
“But winning both [he won the Dean & Deluca Invitational in Fort Worth last year] is something that is a lifelong goal for me and I have this one yet to accomplish.
“The problem this year so far has been my opening rounds. I just haven’t had it. I’ve been behind the eight ball too many times.”
Spieth followed up his opening round of 73 with a three over 75 at last week’s Players Championship, which saw him miss the cut, his second weekend off of 2017. Despite this, Spieth believes his game is generally in good nick, just that his wedge play and putting need to improve.
Spieth made a name for himself in his early days on the PGA Tour for being a superb putter, but the club is running cold at the moment for the two-time major winner. For example, in 2016, he was ranked first in putts per round on the Tour but now he has slipped back to 95th for 2017.
“My game was in great condition last week,” continued Spieth.
“I hit the ball phenomenally and putting was great leading in. I just…my one bad day of the week was Thursday, striking the ball, and I recognised what it was. I couldn’t fix it in time for the round, and then I fixed that on Friday but then I just didn’t get any of the putts to go.
“I’m striking the ball as well as I’ve struck it this entire year, which is as good as I’ve struck the ball on Tour, is how I feel. My wedge play and putting are yet to kick into gear and it just takes a bit of momentum on course.
“I can do all the practice I want, it’s just seeing some go in on course, whether it’s one round or through a streak of two tournaments, just to feel like it’s all the way back to top notch. So, it’s close.”
The pros at the Sony Open in Hawaii were sent scrambling for cover on Saturday after a ballistic missile alert was sent out by mistake.