Jordan Spieth may be sitting proudly at the top of the world rankings but the American believes his short game needs plenty of work before he can regain the mantle of the hottest player in golf. The Texan spoke to reporters at Sentosa Golf Club on 26 January, ahead of this week's Singapore Open.
The 22-year-old double major winner finished tied for fifth at the European Tour's Abu Dhabi Championship on 24 January after some erratic play on the greens left him five shots adrift of compatriot and champion Fowler. The victory in a strong field also featuring four-times major winner Rory McIlroy and world number six Henrik Stenson left Spieth, already a winner in Hawaii this year, with someone to target.
"I'd argue Rickie Fowler is the hottest name in golf right now, he is the previous week's winner, he beat all of us, so he is the best player right now," Spieth said.
Spieth is the overwhelming favourite to triumph in the $1m (£700,000) Asian Tour opener, also co-sanctioned by the Japan Golf Tour, with world number 26 An Byeong-hun of South Korea and Welshman Jamie Donaldson the only others in the field ranked in the top 50. But he believes he needs to make improvements on his game to better last weekend's performance.
"For me, I was beat by four guys last week, I need to get better, that's kind of my drive with it, I'm not satisfied if I don't have my best stuff week to week even though that's not going to happen, it still leaves me kind of wanting more. So I come into this week trying to really improve my short game from last week as well as maintain the ball striking," he added.
Weariness, though, is another opponent Spieth will have to negotiate after feeling the effects of a "crazy four-month adventure" of tournament play in South Korea, China, Australia, the US, Middle East and now south-east Asia.
Spieth said: "It was just unlucky that the spacing in the tournaments and that's what kind of led to this crazy four months adventure that we've had. It won't be that way next year – the Ryder Cup is in the States the year after the President's Cup is in the States, China is going to be pushed back another week so I'm not sure what exactly will happen, it was just a unique off season.
"I'm extremely excited to be here. I was very tired on Sunday from a long week there, by the time we start Thursday I'll be ready to go for four full days with my best stuff this week so you just need to be able to have that rest for the first couple days of the week and that's what I'm doing here.
The hazard-filled Serapong Course layout is not a place for anyone struggling with their short game, however, with large undulating greens ready to deceive, as McIlroy found out during a third-place finish in 2012, the last time the event was held.