Jordan Spieth feels the support he has received from other players on the PGA Tour is helping him to overcome his “slump” in performances.
Ahead of this week’s US PGA Championship at Bethpage Black, where Spieth is looking to complete a career Grand Slam, the American’s poor form has been the subject of significant scrutiny.
The three-time major winner has dropped from third in the world rankings at this time last year to number 39 and has not managed a top-20 finish in 2019. His last tournament victory, meanwhile, was The Open in July 2017.
“I didn’t like go away from the game for five years, I just happened to not win in the last year and a half or so,” Spieth, 25, told reporters.
Asked if he felt any awkwardness from fellow players or difficulty with expectations, Spieth added: “No, I don’t feel that way at all. I’ve had friends on Tour reach out and say, hey, everyone goes through ups and downs, and you’re pretty much – stick to it, you’re doing the right things.
“I don’t want to use the word negativity, but the questioning and the wording that’s used to describe me by media or whatever over the past year has only come up because of the amount of success that I’ve had.
“So it actually could be looked at positively, as well, because if I didn’t have the success that I’ve had, then, first of all, I wouldn’t be in here right now.
“Second of all, it would be, ‘Oh, his game is progressing nicely’, you’d be actually looking at the progression of the game instead of the comparisons constantly to when someone is at their best, which I think is unfair to anybody in any field.
“But it’s not me to tell anybody how to do their job, it’s just one of those things where you’ve just got to block out the noise and stay the course and believe in yourself. It’s been an adjustment being in a bit of a slump, on both sides [technically and mentally].”
— PGA Championship (@PGAChampionship) May 15, 2019
Spieth, who feels he is making progress on issues he has had with the driver, insists he does not spend too much time worrying about whether he will join Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Ben Hogan, Gary Player and Gene Sarazen in winning all four majors.
He added: “Not much [time spent thinking], honestly. Certainly every PGA Championship week I understand [questions on the subject] is going to be the case, and I think I’d be the sixth person, which would be a pretty unique fraternity to be in there.
“That would be a dream come true for me. But I also recognise that if I continue to stay healthy and play well, I’ll have, I don’t know, 30 chances at it. One of them is bound to go my way, right?
“Each major championship has its own identity, and so you’ve kind of, I guess, mastered golf, is kind of an easy way to say it, if you’re able to complete a Grand Slam.
“I feel like I’m more patient in majors with letting courses come to me than I am at other tournaments, and I feel like this is a good time for me to test that out.”