Jordan Spieth back where it all began

 Jordan Spieth plays a pitch shot as he hosts a golf clinic for junior Australian golfers ahead of the 2015 Australian Open at The Australian Golf Course in Sydney. Photo: Matt King/Getty Images
Jordan Spieth plays a pitch shot as he hosts a golf clinic for junior Australian golfers ahead of the 2015 Australian Open at The Australian Golf Course in Sydney. Photo: Matt King/Getty Images

Young American world No.1 Jordan Spieth has praised the condition of Sydney's Australian Golf Club and rubbished suggestions his Australian Open defence would be a walk in the park given the quality of his rivals, including US Tour sparring partner Jason Day.

Last weekend's Australian Masters winner, veteran Peter Senior, backed Spieth's prediction of some on-course fireworks, describing Australia's depth this year as the strongest he could remember.

"Looking at the Australians playing and our overseas guests we've got one hell of a field," Senior said.

Australia's charge will be led by Day and 2013 US Masters champion Adam Scott with support from 2006 US PGA winner Geoff Ogilvy, two-time Australian Open and PGA winner Greg Chalmers, and US Tour winners John Senden and Steven Bowditch.

Spieth may be a raging hot favourite, and rightly so on his wonderful 2015 form. But he is respectful of his opposition, including Day who briefly held the world No.1 ranking this year.

"I'm definitely jealous of how far Jason hits the golf ball ... what a wonderful ball striker he is," said the 22 year-old who putts like Tiger Woods did when he dominated world golf.

"He is a really confident player and a big-time threat."

"I've had a couple of good battles (with Day) and I hope next year brings more of what we saw last season."

 

Jordan Spieth plays a bunker shot on the 8th hole during a practice round ahead of the 2015 Australian Open at The Australian Golf Course in Sydney. Photo: Matt King/Getty Images
Jordan Spieth plays a bunker shot on the 8th hole during a practice round ahead of the 2015 Australian Open at The Australian Golf Course in Sydney. Photo: Matt King/Getty Images

Spieth looked relaxed playing a practice round yesterday with Matt and Brett Jones, the Sydney brothers who created history when they both teed up in the US PGA Championship at Whistling Straits in August where Day beat Spieth to break though for his first major tournament victory.

Spieth said his victory at last year's Open, where he produced one of the best final rounds in Australian golf history for just his second career win, had taught him how to close out an event.

He went on to play what he described as his best four rounds to win at his next start in Tiger Woods' tournament in the Bahamas before going on a magical streak, winning six more times, including the US Masters and Open and finishing second in the PGA and fourth in the British Open .

"This event (the Australian Open) really taught me how to win, how to close the deal with my head last year," he said.

"That Sunday round was a magnificent round and yeah, I am more confident this time, even more so than last year's event.

Coming back to Sydney to defend his Australian Open title was a "no-brainer" for the American who said he loved the city, the people, the food and the golf course which he said was "immaculate".



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