Jordan Spieth could become just the sixth man to win all four majors in the modern era
Jordan Spieth Goes For Career Grand Slam At USPGA
Jordan Spieth has the chance to create history this year at the PGA Championship.
The 27-year-old is bidding to become just the sixth man to win the Career Grand Slam when he tees it up at TPC Harding Park, with the Wanamaker Trophy the only one missing from his major cabinet.
Spieth would join Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Gene Sarazen, Gary Player and Ben Hogan as modern slam winners, with Bobby Jones’ 1930 haul of the Open, US Open, British Amateur and US Amateur acknowledged as the original slam.
Many people may simply rule Spieth out this week due to what has been the worst stretch of his career over the past couple of years. He currently ranks outside the world’s top-50 which seemed unthinkable after several years of stunning golf.
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He won five times in 2015, including two majors, won three times in 2016 and won three times in 2017 including at Royal Birkdale where he lifted the Claret Jug.
It is hard to imagine, but that Open victory, where he battled back after losing his lead mid-way through the back nine with a birdie-eagle-birdie-birdie stretch, was his last win.
The three-time major winner, who had won two by the age of 22, has somewhat struggled the last three of years.
So what is exactly wrong with the American’s game?
Well many have criticised his putting saying he had the yips for a while but the statistics suggest otherwise as he currently ranks in the top-10 on the PGA Tour in Putting Average, Overall Putting Average and One-Putt Percentage.
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So that doesn’t appear to be an issue at the moment. What is possibly a fairer comment to make is that there are clear issues in terms of driving, approach and around the greens.
In terms of driving, which could be a key facet to TPC Harding Park, Spieth averages 301 yards which is significantly less than most of the top players, and he is only hitting the fairway 52% of the time.
Couple that with a greens in regulation percentage of 62% and that means he is missing fairways and missing greens a lot too.
And finally, this is then compounded by the fact that his sand save percentage is 49% and scrambling is 57%.
All of that combines to create a tough picture however there are some factors to make note of.
For example when he does hit the green, he makes birdie or better 35% of the time which puts him in the top-10 on the PGA Tour. As mentioned above, his putting is pretty consistent across all four rounds as well.
So bearing all this in mind, could he ACTUALLY win the PGA Championship this week?
When you consider Spieth’s overall record in Majors, and his ability to play well despite not being on his top form, he is always a difficult player to bet against. Given what we think the setup of TPC Harding Park will be, the main question mark will be around the driver and whether he can get it working.
What cannot be questioned is his drive to complete the career Grand Slam. In a press conference he was asked about how much it was in his mind and he said;
“About as much as it’s been since I won The Open Championship, I guess. It’s something that I really want. It’s probably the No. 1 goal in the game of golf for me right now is to try and capture that. I’d love to be able to hold all four trophies, and this is the one that comes in the way right now.
“Between this event, The Players, those are kind of the two events that I haven’t won that are the two that I really would like to.
“It doesn’t add anything extra. I can’t imagine it would. It didn’t really last year, and I had a chance coming in. That was probably my best chance to win it so far, and it really didn’t have much of an extra effect on top of what major championships already add when you’re stepping on the tee Saturday and Sunday when you’re in contention.”
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