Jordan Spieth admits it is bizarre being in Las Vegas for work rather than pleasure as he looks to halt an alarming slide down the world rankings.
By failing to qualify for the Tour Championship at the end of a winless season on the PGA Tour, Spieth did not play the requisite 25 events and was supposedly subject to a “major penalty” and fine.
However, PGA Tour chief of operations Andy Pazder said in September that the Tour and Spieth had “come to a resolution… in a way that’s going to be a win for our tournaments, our fans and golf in general,” which essentially translates to Spieth contesting the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open and next week’s Mayakoba Classic.
“I’ve come to Las Vegas dozens of times now,” Spieth told a pre-tournament press conference at TPC Summerlin.
“I always love coming here. It’s a lot fun. It doesn’t really feel like you’re in the United States. You’re kind of in a different place here.
“But it is bizarre being here working. We landed last night and I’m like, ‘This is a little bit different coming in here and actually going to bed early and waking up early and coming out and getting work done.’ But I’ll enjoy the challenge this tournament presents this week for sure.”
Spieth became world number one in August 2015 and was ranked second at the end of 2017, but has slipped to 13th after a disappointing season by his standards, which included failing to convert a share of the 54-hole lead into a second successive Open title following a closing 76 at Carnoustie.
The 25-year-old admits he was struggling with his “C-game” for most of the year but is confident his fortunes can improve as quickly as they did following his last winless PGA Tour season in 2014.
“I can look at ’14 into ’15 and sit there and say, ‘You know, the second I get disappointed in dropping seven or eight spots in the world ranking, by August of the next year I was back to number one in the world,” added Spieth, who won in Australia and the Bahamas at the end of 2014 and then won the first two majors of 2015.
“That can happen again. You know, it’s quick how things can kind of turn and change when you get a little momentum.”
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