RBC Heritage

McCombs: Spieth has appearance of PGA Tour superstar

mmccombs@islandpacket.comApril 17, 2014 

Jordan Spieth, reacts after sinking a putt during the Pro-Am at the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing on April 16, 2014.

THEOPHIL SYSLO — Staff photo Buy Photo

Jordan Spieth was a popular guy Wednesday at Harbour Town. And for good reason.

Just days before, Spieth held the 54-hole lead at Augusta National and even found himself leading by two strokes during the final round before falling behind Bubba Watson and becoming the youngest Masters runner-up at 20.

Don't expect him to rest on being No. 2 in Augusta though.

"It definitely left me hungry and ready to play golf again," Spieth said, "which I get to do (Thursday). And ready to eventually get back there again, which is, I think, the only way to kind of redeem myself and to get rid of that will eventually have to be at Augusta."

There shouldn't be much doubt he'll have another shot at a green jacket. Spieth didn't leave the University of Texas to count runners-up trophies. He's the next young star on the PGA Tour. He's serious and he's going places.

Just ask some of the best in the game. Tom Watson, Nick Faldo and Davis Love III all answered questions on Spieth during their media sessions.

When asked if he was impressed with what he saw of Spieth on Sunday, Faldo replied, "Yeah, that's the word, 'very impressed.' "

The six-time major winner from England likes the fact the young Spieth still has a short memory and no "no scar tissue." There's nothing to intimidate him.

"I'm impressed watching through television, how he seems to focus in so well," Faldo said.

A five-time Heritage winner, Love is partnered with Spieth and Watson, the Ryder Cup captain, for the first two rounds.

Love said Spieth has smartly been laying the groundwork for a relationship with Watson. His efforts will only be enhanced with the pairing for the opening round, which hardly seems like an accident on the PGA Tour's part.

"It will be fun tomorrow, or the next two days, for me to get to play with Tom Watson and watch Jordan play with him," Love said. "If you haven't noticed, Jordan is ready to go. He doesn't need much help, except to show up on time."

Spieth made no bones about the fact that he wants a spot on the Ryder Cup team.

"I have a little bit of experience, not a lot," Spieth said. "But I would love to have that opportunity this year."

Watson -- who doesn't hide the fact that a big part of why he is playing this week is to find out more about potential Ryder Cup players -- said, like Faldo and Love, he's impressed with the young Texan.

"I like the way he's played the game," Watson said, comparing Spieth's passion and drive to himself when he was younger. "... He's done very well. He's mature, as he talks with you, he's very mature and he has a good sense of who he is, and I like that about him."

Everything Spieth accomplished in the Masters was planned out. He even said so after the third round, telling reporters it had been his intention all along to lead the Masters.

And watching him, though personable, it's obvious there's a drive to win under the surface that not every athlete possesses. He enjoyed his run at Augusta, but make no mistake, the intention was to win and he's not happy with second place.

"That's why we play the game professionally," Spieth said early in his interview session. "To win major championships."

Even jokingly, Spieth's desire to win the big tournaments shines through. He relayed a story from the aftermath of his runner-up finish in Augusta.

"Michael (Greller) was telling me, my caddie, was like, 'Man, I've never seen somebody get so many congratulations for losing,' " Spieth said. "And he's right."

Follow reporter Mike McCombs at twitter.com/IPBGSports.

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