Date: September 18, 2015
Author: Mark Hayes

Spieth in love down under

Great news, Aussie golf fans – Jordan Spieth is “in love with Australia”.

The dual major champion, who continues publicly to laud his Emirates Australian Open title last year as the platform from which his rise to No.1 in the world was launched, says he can’t wait to  return in November – and not only to defend the Stonehaven Cup.

“I fell in love with Australia, I really did,” Spieth said before his opening round at this week’s BMW Championship in Chicago.

“And Sydney, I look forward to going back maybe a bit earlier this time and just get to (enjoy) it … I like what I'm doing off the course there, too.

“It's a cool golf course (the Australian Golf Club) and a fun tournament to play. But to go there and to have almost a vacation part of it, too, is awesome because … it's almost just like a very laid-back feeling being there.

“And I like it.”

And in even more promising news for the legion of fans won by Spieth’s spectacular closing 63 last year, the Texan is even prepared to miss one game of his beloved Dallas Cowboys to return down under.

“It's a little un-American because it is during Thanksgiving, and it is frustrating. And I do miss a good Cowboys game at home,” Spieth joked when asked if the late November timeslot had made him question his title defence.

“No, it didn't, unless … for whatever reason the dates conflicted with something I needed to go to, but once they didn't, I was more than happy to go back.”

“I don't feel that it was in the way. Immediately after (last year) I wanted to come back. I just love my time there. It's a great place to go in the off-season. It's a great place to go, it's summer time.”

The Masters and US Open champ reiterated the importance of his Australian success in his barnstorming 2015 season, saying the confidence gained by his last-day charge to victory against such a quality field had a lasting impact.

“That Sunday was, to this day, arguably the best round I've ever played, other than maybe the first round of Augusta this year minus if I had played the 15th hole the way I should, that's the best round I've ever played,” he said.

“But given the conditions, when I was in trouble, I knew that I could hit my chip within 10 feet, and I felt like it was going in, and that's a great thing to feel.

“It frees you up. It frees you up to go at pins. It frees you up to play a little safer on chip shots or flop shots, and like I said earlier, that was a huge tournament.

“That day was a huge day in stepping up my game mentally and believing that I can close out professional events.”