Spieth well rested and ready to roll at The Players


PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – For most golfers, two weeks off isn’t much of a break. For 20-year-old Jordan Spieth, it seems like a lifetime.

“I feel very rested,” said Spieth, who is making his first start since a tie for 12th last month at the RBC Heritage. “I had two weeks off, which is very rare. Didn’t do that at all last year in the middle of the season.”

Spieth is hopeful that the (relatively) extended break will not affect his momentum, as he enters off a stretch of four top-20 finishes in his last five starts, highlighted by his runner-up at the Masters. While this is his first Players Championship appearance, Spieth has a bit of experience on the Stadium Course from his days as a junior golfer.

“Three and a half years ago I played in the Junior Players (at TPC Sawgrass),” Spieth said Wednesday. “I felt like it fit my game well and I played well that week, and I got beat by a 20-footer on the last hole.”

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Four weeks after forfeiting a two-shot lead during the final round at Augusta National, Spieth sees only positives from the season’s first major. He also seeks inspiration from the career arc of Rory McIlroy, who let a green jacket slip through his fingers at a young age but has since bounced back to win two majors.

“I’m trying to really see it as a positive, really see it as something going forward that was good for me,” said Spieth. “Obviously it was a great experience, but not being able to pull it off could be great going forward because it is humbling to know that I had it in my hands and kind of let it slip in a sense.”

Spieth explained that he has shied away from watching replays of the Masters, and that after moving from a limited status to No. 7 in the world in less than a year, his focus remains on the future.

“I’ve set goals. I’ve set goals from when I was 15 years old, and I still have yet to accomplish a couple of those,” he said. “Those could take two years and those could take 20 years, but in order for it to actually happen, I’ve got to keep my head down and keep moving forward and work as hard or harder than anybody.”