Spieth looking forward to Tiger-Phil showdown

Count Jordan Spieth among those with a curiosity in watching “The Match.”

While good buddy Justin Thomas said there was “zero” percent chance he’ll fork over the $19.99 to take in the $9 million pay-per-view event between Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods on Nov. 26, Spieth plans to tune in.

“There is certainly an interest from us, yeah, especially knowing the both of them,” Spieth said. “Having them mic’d up and knowing them personally it’ll be kind of extra special.”

Rare fall event

Jordan Spieth
. (Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)

Spieth was talking ahead of the Shriners Hospital for Children Open, where he will tee it up Thursday in a fall “wraparound” event in the United States for the first time.

The former top-ranked player hasn’t won since the 2017 Open Championship, and has fallen to 13th in the world rankings. He also missed the season-ending Tour Championship for the first time, leading to an agreement with the PGA Tour about his 2018-19 schedule to compensate for falling short of his tournament obligations last season.

So here he is in Las Vegas, preparing to tee it up at TPC Summerlin in competition for the first time. He’ll then hop a plane for next week’s event in Mexico at the Mayakoba Golf Classic.

Spieth understands the critics who are concerned about his lack of victories over the past year-and-a-half, but is confident that the work he has put in will pay off in a rebound season.

“I feel great being here,” he said. “I feel rested. I feel healthy. The game feels like it’s in good shape. I had to play seven out of nine weeks or whatever with what felt like not great form. You just kind of have no choice but to keep playing there at the end of the season.”

After Mexico, Spieth will take some time off ahead of his 2019 schedule. In between, he is set to marry fiancee Annie Verret.

Short-term pain, long-term gain?

Spieth chalked 2018 up to a “building year,” and believe he will ultimately benefit from it in the long run.

“I really believe that,” he said. “I know that’s an easy thing to say looking at kind of the positive in a negative, but there were tangible, mechanical things that I needed to address, and I was able to throughout the season.

“Unfortunately, I had to play so much, like I said, towards the end that I couldn’t really get it intact. So I stepped on the first tee knowing that I was playing a C-game instead of figuring where my game is at through the first couple rounds.

“But I’ve done a lot of good work over the last four weeks, whether it required time off thinking or required actual practice. I’ve done I think a good balance of that and come in here with confidence.”

–Field Level Media

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