It’s fair to say that Jordan Spieth is in a bullish mood ahead of the Byron Nelson Championship, which starts on Thursday.
The 20-year-old has been in fine form of late, but fallen short at the last hurdle in two tournaments in quick succession – leading to him experiencing criticism for the first time in his burgeoning career.
Spieth held a share of the lead on the final day in both The Masters and last week’s Players Championships, but could not capitalise on either opportunity, falling down the leaderboard on both occasions.
And, as such, golf’s brightest talent is starting to feel the brunt of expectations –with a select amount of commenters expressing their concerns about his supposed lack of ability to close out a victory.
“I don’t really care about the criticism.” Spieth told reporters for the Golf Channel.
“There have only been a few people that have been in the positions that I’ve been in at my age, being able to try and compete the first time at these events and win them.
“I’m disappointed in myself, because I feel like I could have pulled them off. But I could care less what anybody really thinks.”
In all honesty, it’s probably best that he thinks like this. Nobody should be criticising Spieth’s game, for his rise has been so remarkable it is staggering.
It was only 18 months ago that the American decided to turn professional – now he’s already inside the top ten of the game and, if his current form continues, then he will be guaranteed to move up even further.
Indeed, there is an excitement around the youngster’s game that hasn’t been seen since the likes of Rory McIlroy and, previously, Tiger Woods burst onto the scene at a similar age.
He will have a further chance to establish himself as one of the golfing elite this week, too.
The Byron Nelson Championships represents an opportunity for Spieth to continue to impress all around him and increase his momentum.
He already has six top 10 tour finishes to his name this season, but is still looking for his maiden win of the year.
If he is to achieve that here then he will have to come out on top in one of the strongest fields assembled at Texas in recent times, although he does go into the tournament as the bookies' favourite.
Amongst the other leading contenders to take the title will be Matt Kuchar, the in-form Jimmy Walker and Martin Kaymer – who was the man to win last week at the Players Championships.
Elsewhere the likes of Dustin Johnson, Keegan Bradley and Harris English will also be hoping to come out on top.
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