Spieth hoping to wield hot putter in tropical Singapore

Tue Jan 26, 2016 12:26am EST
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By Patrick Johnston

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Jordan Spieth may be sitting proudly at the top of the world rankings but the American believes his short game needs plenty of work before he can regain the mantle of the hottest player in golf.

The 22-year-old double major winner finished tied for fifth at the European Tour's Abu Dhabi Championship on Sunday after some erratic play on the greens left him five shots adrift of compatriot and champion Rickie Fowler.

The victory in a strong field also featuring four-times major winner Rory McIlroy and world number six Henrik Stenson left Spieth, already a winner in Hawaii this year, with someone to target.

"I'd argue Ricky Fowler is the hottest name in golf right now, he is the previous week's winner, he beat all of us, so he is the best player, that's the way I look at it," the Texan told reporters at Sentosa Golf Club on Tuesday ahead of this week's Singapore Open.

"I look at it most recent, the rankings look at it in a two-year cycle. For me, I was beat by four guys last week, I need to get better, that's my drive," added Spieth, who stormed up the rankings with victories at last year's Masters and U.S. Open.

"I'm not satisfied if I don't have my best stuff week-to-week, even though that is not going to happen. It still leaves me wanting more, so I come into this week trying to really improve my short game from last week as well as maintain my ball striking."

Spieth is the overwhelming favorite to triumph in the $1 million Asian Tour opener, also co-sanctioned by the Japan Golf Tour, with world number 26 An Byeong-hun and Welshman Jamie Donaldson the only others in the field ranked in the top 50.


Jordan Spieth of the U.S. speaks during a news conference ahead of the SMBC Singapore Open golf tournament at Sentosa's Serapong golf course January 26, 2016. REUTERS/Edgar Su