Jordan Spieth looking to dominate in first Arnold Palmer Invitational start

Feb 14, 2021; Pebble Beach, California, USA; Jordan Spieth plays his shot from the third tee during the final round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am golf tournament at Pebble Beach Golf Links. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Jordan Spieth saw a win-win scenario in committing to the Arnold Palmer Invitational for the first time.

He is riding a three-event stretch of top-15 finishes, but narrowly missed out on qualifying for last week’s World Golf Championships event. Wanting to keep the momentum going, Spieth kept his commitment to play Bay Hill this week.

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Jordan Spieth to make first Arnold Palmer Invitational start

Jordan Spieth first Arnold Palmer Invitational start
Feb 13, 2021; Pebble Beach, California, USA; Jordan Spieth plays his shot from the 17th tee during the third round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am golf tournament at Pebble Beach Golf Links. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

The Players Championship is next week, a tournament in which Spieth has not traditionally fared well. Based on how the next two weeks go, he’ll determine whether to play the Honda Classic for the first time as well.

Jordan Spieth said he enjoys playing on Bermuda but typically skips Bay Hill and the Honda Classic after busy stretches on the West Coast swing and ahead of The Players, Texas events and the Masters.

“I love Bermuda, I love windy conditions, difficult golf courses,” he said Wednesday. “It’s just, you got to take a week off here or there sometimes.

“Honestly, I haven’t had much success at The Players Championship, so being able to get some reps and continue trying to work hard on the game leading into The Players could really help next week as well.”

Spieth fell to No. 92 in the official world golf rankings after missing the cut at the Farmers Insurance Open. He has played his best stretch of golf since 2017 in his ensuing three events, posting a T4, T3 and T15 while twice playing in the final group on Sunday.

Spieth enters this week ranked 61st. And bettors are banking more on his momentum than his lack of familiarity at Bay Hill.

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Jordan Spieth comes to Bay Hill as top favorite

Jordan Spieth Bay Hill
Feb 12, 2021; Pebble Beach, California, USA; Jordan Spieth plays his second shot on the first hole during the second round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am golf tournament at Spyglass Hill Golf Course. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Spieth is being backed by 6.4 percent of the handle at +3000 by PointsBet, third only behind pre-tournament favorite Rory McIlroy (17.8 percent at +800) and Bryson DeChambeau (9.1 percent at +1200).

“I feel excited to go work on what I’m working on and continue to try and fine tune it and just get shots here that, try and have kind of every tool in the tool box,” he said. “And I had kind of been working with less than full and starting to open up and really get a lot of shots back that I can trust in tournament play and just feel a lot more comfortable on the golf course, settling into rounds, and getting more comfortable in contention, and ideally putting myself in position on Saturdays and Sundays.”

Spieth practiced at Bay Hill on Monday and Tuesday ahead of Wednesday’s pro-am.

“It’s a little tricky because it seems like a course where course knowledge can go a long way, given the difficulty of it and especially on and around the greens,” he said.

“So I’ll try and do a crash course and that hasn’t been difficult for me. It’s been a long time since I’ve played a new event, but it’s been something I’ve really enjoyed trying to learn how to kind of make it like I’ve played it eight times before.”

–Field Level Media