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The Players: Jordan Spieth insists power players like Bryson DeChambeau have no advantage at TPC Sawgrass


“There’s no advantage to any player. This course is about having tremendous approach shot distance control.” Jordan Spieth denies that Bryson DeChambeau’s length is an advantage at Sawgrass, and DeChambeau agrees!

Last Updated: 12/03/21 12:31am










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Jordan Spieth opened with a solid 70 at The Players Championship and insisted the big-hitters like Bryson DeChambeau had no advantage at TPC Sawgrass

Jordan Spieth opened with a solid 70 at The Players Championship and insisted the big-hitters like Bryson DeChambeau had no advantage at TPC Sawgrass

Jordan Spieth’s recent resurgence continued with a two-under 70 at The Players Championship, and he insisted “anyone can win” at TPC Sawgrass.

With Bryson DeChambeau and similar power players predicted by many to have a huge advantage on the Stadium Course, Spieth remains adamant that “spotless” distance control was the key ingredient to success.

Spieth, who has made the cut only twice in seven starts at the PGA Tour’s flagship event, was delighted with his solid three-birdie opening round as he looks to continue his climb back up the world rankings following top-four finishes in three of his last four events.

Spieth has made the cut only twice in seven starts at Sawgrass

Spieth has made the cut only twice in seven starts at Sawgrass

“Anybody can win on this golf course,” said Spieth when asked about DeChambeau’s extra length being an advantage. “There’s no advantage to any player. Obviously if someone hits it really far and they hit it straight, then you always have an advantage, no matter where you are.

“But this course is about hitting it to certain spots and then from there hitting that approach shot into certain spots and having tremendous approach shot distance control. Your distance control has to be pretty spotless in order to be able to make any birdies or else you’re just from one knob to another or up a ridge or down a ridge.

“So Pete Dye does a great job on all the courses where it’s really about second-shot distance control than it is about length off the tee out here.”

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Spieth was close to dropping out of the world’s top 100 until he suddenly roared back to form in Phoenix, and he admitted he has regained more “trust” in his all-round game in recent weeks, although he is also aware that he has previously missed the cut at Sawgrass when arriving in good form.

“I’ve come in here playing poorly, and played poorly, but I’ve come in here after winning the Masters and missed the cut and in that stretch I was playing great golf wherever I was going,” he added. “I thought I learned a lot in the past going out to the course, and just not used that course knowledge to my advantage.

“Essentially, you have to play this course almost like a US Open venue, if you don’t get a perfect number with the right wind, you just can’t attack, even if it’s a wedge, and just wait for your spots and take advantage of the par-fives.

“That’s how I’m supposed to play this place. And I did a great job of that today for the most part and that’s going to be the game plan going forward for sure.”

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Bryson DeChambeau was happy with his iron play and course management after firing a three-under 69 on day one of The Players Championship

Bryson DeChambeau was happy with his iron play and course management after firing a three-under 69 on day one of The Players Championship

DeChambeau, meanwhile, echoed Spieth’s view on course strategy and admitted he had to “dial back” on certain holes where he felt hitting driver was not a viable option.

“Cramped in is not the right word, I think dialled back is the right word for me,” said last week’s Bay Hill champion, who birdied two of the last three holes to card a 69. “I have to be, in certain areas. The 16th is one of the examples that’s not where I have to dial back, I can go at it pretty hard, and I was lucky enough to have nine-iron in there today.

“But for the most part it’s position golf. And a year-and-a-half, two years ago, I loved position golf. Pete Dye was my favourite architect from that sense where he just made it where you’ve got to be in position A and hit it on the green, hit it close. It wasn’t a bomber’s paradise, but now, I kind of like it a bomber’s paradise a little bit more.

“It definitely tests every aspect of your game out here and you have to be on point. My iron play was a lot better today than last week. Driving was about the same. A little better. I felt a lot more comfortable off the tee and I putted pretty decent, not great but great, good enough, I guess you could say.”

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