Golfer Spieth set to take centre stage at Serapong

Singapore, Jan 27 (IANS) The genius of World No.1 Jordan Spieth became even more evident at this week’s $1 million SMBC Singapore Open with the young American golfer not needing to rely too heavily on practice rounds.

The 22-year-old from Dallas arrived from Abu Dhabi on Monday morning and spent the day resting. Tuesday was taken up with media engagements while he will use Wednesday’s Pro Am as his main practice round highlighting his ability to learn how to play new courses with impressive speed, reports Xinhua.

The tournament tees-off on Thursday on the Serapong Course at Sentosa Golf Club. The event is jointly sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Japan Tour and also features Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke from Northern Ireland, South Korean stars Y.E. Yang and Ben An, Welshman Jamie Donaldson and Japan’s Shingo Katayama.

“This golf course is ranked in the top-60 in the world which is pretty special. Once Thursday starts I don’t mind the humidity (and heat), I mean, I am used to it in the summer in Texas,” said Spieth, who last year won the US Masters and US Open — first two Majors in a calendar year.

It’s the American’s first time in Singapore and much like former World No.1 Tiger Woods, reflects his desire to play golf, and popularise the game across the globe.

He added: “I’ve looked over the yardage book already and it looks like a tricky golf course so I’m going to need to get as much information as I can. I’m sure the wind will play a factor, and sometimes the downfall in playing a couple of weeks in a row where you have to travel long distances is that you don’t get the preparation or knowledge of the golf course but we can still go with it.”

Spieth finished tied fifth in the last weekend saying his putter let him down but it was a solid performance which many feel will be the calm before he storms to victory this week. He finished five strokes behind compatriot Rickie Fowler, who Spieth says is the best player in the world right now after that win.

Although a little fatigued from his busy travel schedule Spieth has been in laid back mode and is enjoying his Singapore sojourn.

“Since arriving yesterday, I’ve spent yesterday resting, just laying low trying to catch up on sleep, strength, hydration and long trips. Last night we went for a nice dinner and I got to see a little bit of Sentosa Island,” he said.

“I’m looking forward to getting into downtown Singapore at least one night to see what this island has to offer, it’s pretty unique and I’ve heard a lot about it over time. I’ve only heard great things about the city in Singapore.”

After nearly winning all four Majors last year – he was second in the US PGA Championship and equal fourth in the British Open Championship — he is once again focusing on success in the big four events starting with Augusta.

“To do what we did last year that’d be nice! Hopefully we have a nice momentum going into the Masters. I play a couple of weeks prior, so I’ll be running in as, I think, my third event in a row, which is normal for me there, that’s what it was last year,” the 22-year-old said.

“Hopefully, I can put myself in contention during at least one of the prior two weeks in either Austin or Houston, two places that I’m very familiar with and build some confidence as I lead into the Masters.

“But for now it’s trying to build strength up, trying to maintain everything we’ve started at the beginning of the season, then once it’s a couple of weeks before I’ll start changing the plan. Physically, in the gym, what you’re doing, and practice-wise, I’ll probably do a little less in the gym and more maintenance, more practice leading into the Masters. We’ll try and do the same exact plan we had going last year.”

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