Jordan Spieth: “Dufner’s been a good buddy”

Jordan Spieth carded a 5-under 67 in the first round of the Valero Texas Open on Thursday.

“I certainly would have signed up for 5 under starting out. Felt like I played some really nice golf on our front nine, the back nine. Then just kind of got a little loose off the tee on the front nine, our second nine, and was able to kind of make do. I hit some decent drives, ended up in iffy spots. Overall, just chipped and putted really well, which was the difference maker today. I didn’t quite hit it as good as I have been”.

Jordan Spieth, statements

Asked about the Dufner connection after making seven birdies and two bogeys, one of them on his last hole, the par-4 ninth, Spieth said they’ve been friends, but that’s about it.

“Yeah, he’s somebody that has a good knowledge of the golf swing. He’s helped a lot of guys. Just kind of bounce ideas off him. He’s been a good friend of mine for a long time. He’s been somebody I can always kind of bounce off – ‘Hey, I’m trying to do this, you know, what’s this feel like to you?’ – that kind of stuff. He’s been a good buddy, as I’ve had a lot of different guys over the years that have been offering advice on and off the golf course to the young guys and that’s not out of the ordinary out here”.

Dustin Johnson, the number 1 in the world, will not go to the Olympic Games.

There is a real risk of being faced with a situation in which not only Dustin Johnson, but also several other big names could sacrifice the five-circle event, which in terms of life in the golf circuit is still very young. It remains to be seen whether the coming months will confirm this trend. In 2016, there were many who gave up fearing Zika: in addition to the DJ himself and Jordan Spieth in the USA, not all the Australian big names went to Rio, from Jason Day down, nor did Rory McIlroy (by the way, he declared his Olympic flag will be that of Ireland as such; on the circuit he plays for Northern Ireland as well as Graeme McDowell) and, for Italy, Francesco Molinari.

Regarding the situation in the United States, there are currently only four non-Americans in the top 15 of the OWGR. This means that the Americans are the only ones who can field four players, while out of the top 15 the maximum is two per country, counting a field of 60, both among men and women. Staying on the men’s sector, to date the qualifiers would be Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa, Bryson DeChambeau and Xander Schauffele. With three months of abundant golf left, however, it is all too evident that the situation could change. Given the very high number of USA in the world rankings, an avalanche of situations opens up for which different countries can aspire to two places.

The European Tour Qualifying School has been bolstered by the addition of four new venues ahead of the competition’s return in 2021. Montado Hotel & Golf Resort in Portugal and Australia’s Rosebud Country Club will both make their long-awaited debuts in 2021 after the Qualifying School was cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, while Denmark’s Lyngbygaard Golf and Empordà Golf, in Spain, have also been added to the schedule for 2021. The European Tour Qualifying School will visit 14 venues from September to November and gives players – professional and amateur – the opportunity to earn their place on Europe’s top tier for the 2022 season.

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