Jordan Spieth says the success of Brooks Koepka and Rory McIlroy is a “driving factor” as he looks to match their haul of major wins at this week’s U.S. Open.
The picturesque Pebble Beach Golf Links will play host to the year’s third major, with two-time defending champion Koepka set to start as favourite after he won last month’s US PGA Championship to claim his fourth major title inside two years.
McIlroy, who stormed to victory at the Canadian Open on Sunday courtesy of a final-round 61, also has four of golf’s biggest stroke play prizes to his name while Spieth has three, having followed up Masters and U.S. Open triumphs in 2015 with a victory in the 2017 Open Championship.
Speaking ahead of this week’s tournament, Spieth told reporters: “To be honest, when I look at what I’m doing, it’s hard to compare that to a different generation. And say like Tiger [Woods, a 15-time major champion], I don’t compare myself to him. But it’s a little easier to compare yourself to people within five or six years on either side of yourself.
— U.S. Open (USGA) (@usopengolf) June 22, 2015
“Because it’s almost unrealistic to compare yourself to Jack [Nicklaus, who has 18 majors] or Tiger. Obviously that’s the end goal. But it’s very difficult to look at the short term with just how incredible their achievements have been.
“So watching Brooks and Rory, these guys who have four major championships prior to being 30 years old and looking like they’re just going to continue to do so, it’s certainly a driving factor for me.
“There’s also a number of under-30 guys who are going to win a number of majors over the coming years, [that] is certainly what it looks like.
“So there’s plenty of inspiration to be the one that’s trying to win these championships. And I have no trouble, personally, finding that inspiration, nor would I even if the 30 to 40 year olds are winning. This is our Super Bowl.
“At the beginning of the year this is what we look at and we pinpoint and we try and peak at. “[There is] no need for any extra inspiration. I think there’s plenty there.”