Jordan Spieth has had an eventful start to 2023 and after a sparkling round at the Sony Open he lifted the lid on what it’s like being one of the most talented but perhaps one of the most unpredictable in world golf.
Nobody seems to pull off escape shots as well as Spieth, but then again not many have as much practice as at times he can hit it off the reservation even when he’s contending in big tournaments.
When watching him on TV you can often just see him in the trees, in thick rough, in the bushes, or even infamously out on the end of the driving range by the equipment trucks.
But time and time again he gets himself out of trouble, or in that case in point at Royal Birkdale at The Open even go on to win a Major despite hardly stepping onto a fairway.
And after he tied for the lead after the first round of the Sony Open in Hawaii, Spieth admitted that it was tough handling the huge variances within his game that can see him play as good as anyone one day yet struggle to stay on the course the next.
“I believe I can shoot five or six-under each day out here,” Spieth said after his first round. “Not to say that that means it'll happen, but there are other times I would be sitting there going, how do I hold this s*** together, to be honest. Seriously.”
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Spieth, though, does say that he is feeling that he has a bit more control over his game now than in previous years as he tries to rid his game of some bad habits.
“I just remember thinking, I know where my game is at and I can maybe fake it as best I can, but it's not -- I don't really have great control.
“This is different. The last couple years have been a little different where off to a good start and I'm like, okay, I think I can improve a little to gain just a little bit more control, but I was in really good control.
“Seems simple, but when you're still fighting the urge to want to hit it hard or get over some bad habits, days like today I'm not surprised, but what I will say is I'm confident relative to other time periods I've been off to similar starts, which is a really good place to be.”
🚨 BIG BET ALERT 🚨One of our customers has placed a $50,000 bet on Jordan Spieth (15/1) to win the Sony Open this week.Potential Payout: $800 GRAND 💰@PGATOUR | @SonyOpenHawaii pic.twitter.com/fa7rHlMskCJanuary 12, 2023
Spieth’s first round was also an encouraging start for one golf punter who, according to FanDuel, had placed a whopping $50,000 bet on Spieth to win the Sony Open this week.
With 15/1 odds it means that there’s a golf fan out there nervously watching for the next few days with Spieth playing to make him $800,000 richer. No pressure Jordan!
Paul Higham is a sports journalist with over 20 years of experience in covering most major sporting events for both Sky Sports and BBC Sport. He is currently freelance and covers the golf majors on the BBC Sport website. Highlights over the years include covering that epic Monday finish in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and watching Rory McIlroy produce one of the most dominant Major wins at the 2011 US Open at Congressional. He also writes betting previews and still feels strangely proud of backing Danny Willett when he won the Masters in 2016 - Willett also praised his putting stroke during a media event before the Open at Hoylake. Favourite interviews he's conducted have been with McIlroy, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn, Rickie Fowler and the enigma that is Victor Dubuisson. A big fan of watching any golf from any tour, sadly he spends more time writing about golf than playing these days with two young children, and as a big fair weather golfer claims playing in shorts is worth at least five shots. Being from Liverpool he loves the likes of Hoylake, Birkdale and the stretch of tracks along England's Golf Coast, but would say his favourite courses played are Kingsbarns and Portrush.
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