FORT WORTH, United States: Masters champion Jordan Spieth is back home in Texas this week, and set for a hero’s welcome at Colonial.
The 21-year-old’s sensational victory at Augusta National made him the first Texan to win a major title since Justin Leonard won the 1997 British Open.
“To come back home with the green jacket and be introduced like that is really special,” Spieth said. “It’s where it really starts to hit me kind of what it means.”
Spieth is set for back-to-back starts in north Texas—at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth and in next week’s Byron Nelson Championship in his neighboring hometown of Dallas.
“I’m excited for these two weeks,” Spieth said. “This is going to be a really fun stretch.”
Spieth is the first reigning Masters champion since Phil Mickelson in 2010 to play at Colonial.
Spieth, whose wire-to-wire win in the Masters helped propel him to number two in the world, is the top draw in the tournament.
World number one Rory McIlroy is across the pond at the European Tour’s flagship event at Wentworth, while Tiger Woods, always a gallery favorite even amid difficulties with his game, last played here in 1997.
Adam Scott of Australia, who won the title at Colonial in a playoff with Jason Dufner last year in his first week at number one in the world, has fallen to 11th in the world rankings.
While Spieth is prepared to enjoy the reception from hometown fans, he says he has serious work to do.
His Masters triumph capped a seven-start span that included six top-10 finishes, one of those his first win of the season at the Valspar Championship.
But since the Masters he tied for 11th at the Heritage, failed to make it out of group play at the World Golf Championships Match Play and missed the cut at the Players Championship.
“Obviously, the first tee shot when I’m introduced it’s going to feel really cool with the crowds that we’ll experience these two weeks,” he said.
“But then once I step over the ball, all that’s in my head is I need to play better than I’ve played the last couple of weeks.”