Refreshed after a globetrotting run of tournaments that took him from Hawaii to Abu Dhabi and then Singapore, Jordan Spieth returns to the PGA Tour with high hopes for this week's Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in California. The American world No1 has finished no worse than joint seventh in his last seven starts worldwide while winning twice, and relishes competing in the pro-am celebrity event on the picturesque Monterey Peninsula.
"As much fun as we're having in between shots I'm here to win this golf tournament," Masters and US Open champion Spieth, 22, said at a news conference on 10 February, while preparing for the opening round.
Spieth tied for fifth at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship and finished second at the Singapore Open in his last two starts, and is looking forward to this week when his amateur partner will be American country music singer Jake Owen.
"Even if the rounds are a bit longer because you have foursomes you're still having more fun, you feel like you're playing a team event while still kind of grinding yourself," said the Texan.
Owen, who has played with Spieth for the last three years at Pebble Beach, joined Spieth at the news conference and was asked about playing with the world's top-ranked player. Owen responded with a story from when Spieth and Owen played in December 2014 at a charity golf event in Florida.
"He looks at me and says 'Alright, what are the odds I'm going to make this?' I'm like 'You're like 98 yards out in the middle of the fairway' and without missing it he just steps up, hits the shot, in the air, he's like, 'Pay up'. And I'm sitting there watching it, it hits three feet behind the pin, with all these people watching, spins back and goes in the hole. He looks at me and I'm like, this doesn't happen with normal people!" Owen said.
Spieth heads a strong field this week that features five other players ranked in the world's top 10, including Australian Jason Day (third), American Bubba Watson (sixth) and England's Justin Rose (seventh).