ROCHESTER, N.Y. – “How are you feeling, Jordan?” a spectator shouted with genuine concern to Jordan Spieth from behind the rope lining the right side of the 13th fairway at Oak Hill on Tuesday as Jordan Spieth sauntered to his ball.
“I feel good,” Spieth said imitating the deep baritone of James Brown.
But does Spieth, who withdrew from last week’s AT&T Byron Nelson, his hometown event, citing a left wrist injury, really feel so good, as the soul singer Brown would say? That we don’t know because when a reporter asked to speak to him about his injury, he declined and said, “But thanks for your concern.”
Spieth, ranked No. 10 in the world, is bidding to complete the career Grand Slam this week by winning the PGA Championship. It marks his seventh attempt since winning the 2017 British Open for his third major title. After overcoming a slump during which he went nearly four years without a win until claiming the Valero Texas Open in 2021, Spieth has made impressive progress to return to a dependable representative for Team U.S.A. in international competition and a threat for more major glory. The 29-year-old Texan has five top-10 finishes this season, including a T-4 at the Masters, and was a lip-out away in a playoff with Matt Fitzpatrick from defending his title at the RBC Heritage in April and recording his 14th career Tour title.
Last Monday, Spieth posted on social media that he was pulling out of the AT&T Byron Nelson noting “severe pain in my left wrist” and that it required “rest and limited movement.”
On Tuesday afternoon, he wore white tape around his left wrist and black kinesiology tape on the back of his left arm that stretched to his elbow. He played nine holes alongside caddie Michael Greller, who flew in on Monday, and coach Cameron McCormick. Spieth neither winced, shook his arm as if suffering pain, nor shied away from hitting any shot. When he drove into the left rough, he hit an iron from Oak Hill’s thick stuff.
He hit numerous pitch shots, bunker shots and putts to a tee or makeshift plastic hole placed on various spots on the green where the actual hole locations could be this week. He ripped one drive at 14 and invested most of his time pitching to the elevated green. At the par-3 15, he planted an 8-iron 15 feet from the hole and his birdie putt circled the cup. Spieth played nine holes, but to be sure of his status we will have to wait until he tees off Thursday with Viktor Hovland and Shane Lowry in…
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