That proverbial 2018 calendar hanging on Jordan Spieth’s bedroom wall? Yes, among the dates circled are Aug. 9-12, also known as Rounds 1-4 of the PGA Championship, the final piece to Spieth’s career grand slam puzzle.
“This tournament will always be circled until I’m able to hopefully win it some day,” Spieth said Tuesday at Bellerive, where he’ll begin his second attempt at the career grand slam on Thursday. “It will always be circled to complete the career grand slam, which will ultimately achieve a life-long goal for me. So certainly emphasis in my head on it, but nothing overpowering, nothing that takes over once I start on the first tee, just more going into the week.”
Spieth, 25, is feeling more relaxed this year compared to last August at Quail Hollow. A year ago, Spieth was coming off a British Open victory and was in great form. Many, including Spieth, expected a strong attempt at the slam in Charlotte. (Spieth ended up T-28.)
“I think I was probably a little more anxious last year,” Spieth said. “I think, going in, there was a big focus on it, given it was right after winning the Open Championship, so it was fresh, I was in form, and going to a place that, if I worked up the leaderboard, it would create a lot of noise.
“I feel somewhat under the radar this year. I’ve kind of felt that way a lot this year, I don’t mind it.”
This season, Spieth has yet to win. He battled some severe putting struggles earlier this year and despite two top-10s in majors, hasn’t really put himself in position to contend on too many Sundays. There’s also been a lot of cut-line golf, as Spieth calls it.
But despite the down year, Spieth can still make some noise this Sunday in St. Louis.
“In some sense I feel under the radar,” Spieth said, “but at the same time, after one round it changes.”