Pros advice

Spieth in red hot form ahead of St Andrews

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Plenty questioned Jordan Spieth’s wisdom in honouring his position in the field at TPC Deere Run – but he will now head to St Andrews with his fourth win of the year at the John Deere Classic.

The Masters and US Open champion beat 46-year-old Tom Gillis at the second extra hole after both players reached 20-under, Spieth closing with four birdies from the 13th onwards.

“I know I don’t get credit for winning Tiger’s event and the Australian Open,” he said of a pair of off-season victories that got him started on a run that may be remembered as one of the most significant in golf history. “But give me credit for all of my Tour wins.”

The 21-year old Texan is the now the red hot favourite coming into the Open and with defending champion Rory McIlroy out of action for the foreseeable future, Spieth is confident he has the tools to take the title at St Andrews.

“I love where my putting is at,” said the US Open champion. “Really my pace control, my speed is awesome right now. Obviously going to have to adjust to the greens over there, but still, understanding how hard I'm hitting it, given the slopes.

“I will be focused solely on how I can learn as much as I can these next three days and then just keep this going into the tournament. I just want to put myself in position.”

Spieth will be looking to get to grips with the Old Course before the Championships get under way after the complete unknown that was Chambers Bay: “The only thing I've heard so far is that it's playing softer than usual,” said Spieth.

“I love the town, I loved the R&A Clubhouse. So I'm excited to get there. It's yielded very low scores.

“That's why I think this is advantageous to feel like you're making a lot of birdies, feel like you need to make a lot of birdies.

“That way you can be maybe a little more aggressive than you would normally be starting a major championship, but I think it all depends on getting over there and establishing a game plan because when I played it whenever it was, three and a half years ago, I was in very much a different position and could take more chances and whatnot. So I've got to pick my spots.”

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