Spieth eager to learn from Phelps

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - Jordan Spieth is a bona fide PGA Tour superstar with 11 worldwide wins, including two majors in 2015.

He’s also still just a 23-year-old kid with sports heroes … heroes he’s not just looking up to anymore, but trying to learn from.

The latest example came on Wednesday at the Waste Management Phoenix Open pro-am, where he was paired with 23-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps.

“If you think about it, he’s the most decorated Olympian ever," Spieth said after their round. "He could be argued as the greatest champion in sport, right? I mean, certainly would be in the conversation. It would be hard to think about how you could argue anybody else.”

Spieth and Phelps (31), both Under Armour athletes, first met last summer when the swimmer addressed the U.S. Ryder Cup team before the start of the event. This week, they had dinner on Tuesday night and while Spieth admitted they were throwing a lot of “knicks and knacks” around at TPC Scottsdale at the pro-am, he said Phelps has made it clear his door is always open for a serious talk.


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“He’s offered to continue to advise or help or just really any time I want to reach out, which is just incredibly kind to have that kind of opportunity,” said Spieth. “It’s humbling for me and I certainly should take advantage of it.”

Add Phelps to the superstar power in Spieth’s little black book. Spieth compared it to other encounters he’s had with New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady,  two-time reigning NBA MVP Stephen Curry, and even fellow Tour pros Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, who he called “legends of their sport.”

“I feel very, very fortunate to have these experiences, just as a sports fan growing up,” said Spieth. “Now that I’m here, don’t take it for granted. Try and listen, learn. There is a lot that I can learn from the mental side of things. These guys have mastered it.