Winning the PGA Championship would be a career-defining moment for most of the players competing this week but Jordan Spieth is the only one at Kiawah Island with a chance to secure a spot among a truly elite group.
A win for Spieth would put him alongside Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, and Tiger Woods as the only players to complete the career Grand Slam of winning golf’s four major championships.
But Spieth, who arrives at the year’s second major enjoying the best run of form he has put together in years, said his chance to join that elite list is not even on his mind ahead of Thursday’s opening round.
“It’s not. It’s not,” Spieth insisted on Tuesday during his pre-tournament news conference.
“As we get into the weekend, if I’m able to work my way into contention, I think it’s something that’ll obviously be asked and come up, and it’s something that I certainly want.”
Spieth started to turn things around earlier this year with back-to-back top-five finishes in Phoenix and Pebble Beach. He then snapped a nearly four-year winless drought that dated back to the 2017 British Open — where he won the third leg of the career Grand Slam — with his win at last month’s Texas Open.
In his only two starts since, the 27-year-old Texan finished in a share of third at the Masters, three shots back of winner Hideki Matsuyama, and in a tie for ninth at last week’s AT&T Byron Nelson.
Spieth said he is better equipped at being patient at major tournaments, something the Texan feels will be especially key this week on the Pete Dye-designed Ocean Course layout that at 7,876 yards will be the longest major in history.
“Majors are … what we’re trying to peak for,” said Spieth, who failed in his first four bids to win the final leg of the career slam.
“I feel like I’ll have a lot of chances at this tournament, and if I just focus on trying to take advantage of this golf course, play it the best I can, and kind of stay in the same form tee to green I’ve been in, all I can ask for is a chance.”