WINDERMERE, Florida (Reuters) - Rising American talent Jordan Spieth hopes to carry momentum from his rousing Australian Open triumph into this week’s Hero World Challenge and tick the final box off his 2014 to-do list.
Spieth, 21, said on Wednesday his goals for the year included two wins and making the Ryder Cup team. He made the 12-man U.S. matchplay team, but squandered opportunities to win until blazing to a six-shot victory in Sydney.
This week’s 18-man event, hosted by Tiger Woods, gives Spieth a shot at meeting his objective.
“That would check every goal for the year,” Spieth said on the eve of the opening round at Isleworth Golf and Country Club.
Spieth said putting his name on the Stonehaven Cup boosted his confidence.
“Jack (Nicklaus) won it seven times and Gary Player six, along with Greg Norman’s name on it. Just Hall of Famer after Hall of Famer, and future Hall of Famers on it — Rory (McIlroy) and Adam (Scott) won it.
“It was one I was targeting and looking forward to, so it was a great week.”
Spieth has done well hitting his targets.
Shortly after turning pro at 19, the Texan became the youngest player in 82 years to win a PGA Tour event at the John Deere Classic and was PGA Rookie of the Year in 2013.
Still missing from his wish list is a major, one that narrowly escaped at Augusta, where he held a two-shot lead in the final round before finishing in a tie for second.
“It’s the one that you dream about winning, that I dreamt about winning as a kid,” he said.
“To see it in the final group, where you can’t see any of the grass, just a sea of people ... (I) just badly want to be back there in that setting.
“Ben Crenshaw said, ‘You really see a man’s true emotion competing at Augusta more than anywhere else.’
“That’s why it’s the best tournament I can learn from in my life. The good and the bad,” he said, reflecting on a line from Greg Norman that one learns more from failures than winning.
Most of this week’s focus is on the comeback by Woods, who has been hobbled by back injuries.
“If he’s 100 percent healthy I don’t have any doubt that he’ll get back to winning major championships,” Spieth said.
“I look forward to really trying to be the one that’s stopping him.”
Editing by Frank Pingue