• Top dog Spieth hungry for more success

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    ABU DHABI: Now that Jordan Spieth has won two majors, the world number one golfer said he is desperate to add to that tally in order to ensure that his name goes down prominently in the history books.

    The 22-year-old American, winner of the Masters and the US Open last year, is in the UAE capital this week for the $2.7 million Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, his second start of 2016 after emphatically winning the PGA Tour’s Hyundai Tournament of Champions by eight shots in Hawaii two weeks ago.

    It will be a busy year for Spieth, who is determined to win an Olympic gold medal and help America win the Ryder Cup later in September in Hazeltine, apart from winning a few more tournaments.

    Asked if there was anything different in his thought process now that he is already a major champion, Spieth said: “I think there’s two ways of going forward with that.

    “One is you can be satisfied and think about all the stuff you’ve done. Or two, you can look at what these guys who you’ve looked up to your whole life have accomplished, which is more than you have.

    “So look at Tiger [Woods], Phil [Mickelson]… this is still our generation, Tiger, Phil, Rory, these guys that have done more in the game of golf than I have, and I want to strive to get to what they have done.

    “I want my name to go down in history for as many things as it can. That’s where my mind is. I’m less satisfied with what’s happened and more hungry to try and keep it going.”

    Spieth, who has been drawn with world number three Rory McIlroy and world number six Rickie Fowler in the first two rounds, said it would be impossible to match his winning score of 30-under par in Kapalua, Hawaii, but he felt good about his chances.

    “I feel great. I came home from Hawaii, took a couple days off, went and saw my instructor, and I actually feel better about the way I’m striking my irons coming into this week than I did going into Hawaii,” said Spieth, who is playing in Singapore next week.

    “Trying to maintain my putting and maintain my short game statistics, and the way I drove the ball. I’m not going to shoot 30-under this week. I don’t think that’s possible on this golf course. That was a dream come true week for me, everything came together and I scored incredibly well.

    Exciting pairing
    “But if I can drive the ball in the places that I was driving it in Kapalua and keep it in the short grass here, I feel very confident about my chances.”

    Spieth said he was excited about the pairing with McIlroy and Fowler.

    “I’m very excited about the pairing, yeah. I figured that we’d all be split up, so yesterday I was on the course when I found out and I was very excited,” said Spieth.

    “It’s a tremendous opportunity for us three. We very rarely get this pairing and very rarely will going forward. So, we will take advantage and try and really feed off of each other.

    “We all want to beat each other pretty bad, so that should help us out within our group.”

    The European Tour event has attracted a quality field once again, with Spieth leading a list of four players in the field who are ranked inside the top-six of the world. McIlroy is world number three, Henrik Stenson is number five and Fowler number six.

    AFP

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