PITTSFORD, N.Y. – It’s not often a player skips a World Golf Championships event, but Jordan Spieth had his reasons.
For one, he didn’t expect to even be in the field. He was supposed to play AT&T National, take a week off, tee it up in the John Deere Classic, then take a few more weeks off and reassess. Instead, he ended up playing four in a row.
Of course, that’s a good problem to have for a 20-year-old who began this year with no status on any major tour, but because his victory at the John Deere earned him a spot in the year’s third major, he returned to the States feeling a bit burned out. So with the PGA Championship upcoming, and then the four-tournament FedEx Cup playoffs, yes, Spieth decided to skip last week’s WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, with its massive purse and free world-ranking points.
“I’ll never skip one again,” Spieth said at Oak Hill, “but I was worn out, very tired. I didn’t feel like I had anything with me. I want to be 100 percent every tournament I play in.”
Spieth spent the rare off weeks working on his game and also attending the wedding of his caddie, Michael Greller.
“I just was feeling like I need more rest,” Spieth said. “If I went to the tournament, maybe I wouldn’t have been 100 percent there, here, or the rest of the season. And then having a chance to go there and support (Greller), he’s like family to me, so it was very important. The World Golf Championships, if you go and play, it’s a free check, but I’m not going to chase a free check. It felt like it was more important to me at the time.”
This week Spieth will be making his fourth career major start. He’s coming off a T-44 at the British Open, where he was competitive for two days before a 76-75 weekend when he says he didn’t play patiently enough. He has six top-10s in 17 starts this season, amassing more than $2 million in earnings.