Major Goals: Recent Results Renew Confidence for Spieth

After COVID break and Byron Nelson finish, Preston Hollow resident aims for big summer

Jordan Spieth has been trending upward this season on the PGA Tour, even though wins in his backyard remain elusive.

Spieth is a three-time major champion and former FedEx Cup winner. This season, he won the Texas Open in San Antonio, finished third at the Masters, was second at the Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth, and has eight top-ten showings in 19 starts.

His struggles at AT&T Byron Nelson are well documented. The Preston Hollow resident and former Jesuit standout has played the local tournament 10 times in his career, more than any other stop on tour.

Almost every time, he’s among the favorites and draws the largest galleries, but he’s never been a factor on Sunday. This year, Spieth placed ninth — his best finish since debuting in 2010 at age 16.

“I’m happy with kind of the way things turned out for the week as a whole,” Spieth said. “The tournament was great out here, and after having a month off just kind of coming out and hitting a lot of good shots, picking back up where I left off, was a big confidence boost.”

That month was due in part to a post-Masters case of COVID-19 that sent Spieth, 27, to the sidelines unexpectedly.

“It just kind of set me back a little. I wasn’t planning on taking a month off in the spring,” he said. “I had to quarantine away from my wife — in the same house, which was interesting. I know a lot of people have had to do that over the last year or so. I guess it certainly could have been worse, and so I was lucky with that.”

Spieth, 27, played the first two rounds in a threesome with two up-and-coming local stars, Scottie Scheffler and Will Zalatoris — each still seeking their first victory on tour.

“They’re both obviously incredibly talented,” Spieth said. “I remembered being on the green in the group with these guys when I was 13, and they were 11. So what a kind of cool experience to see that now and obviously the success they’ve had.”

The quality of the tournament field increased this year with a relocation to TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney after a lackluster two-year stint at Preston Forest in Dallas and a cancellation in 2020.

“It’s exciting to see so many top guys coming back to Dallas. Obviously, as somebody who plays it every year, I would love for all the top players to come here,” Spieth said. “From the way I look at it, it’s just nice to have people come to the tournament that I grew up going to and seeing the best players come in.”

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