Jordan Spieth makes blunt Rory McIlroy admission with Career Grand Slam in play at PGA Championship

Jordan Spieth makes blunt Rory McIlroy admission with Career Grand Slam in play at PGA Championship

Perhaps in an effort to temper expectations, Jordan Spieth is deflecting the hype onto Rory McIlroy ahead of the 106th PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, which begins Thursday.

Spieth is the lone player in the field with the opportunity to complete the Career Grand Slam, though his inconsistent form over the past two years doesn’t engender confidence. This season, Spieth, a short-game maestro, ranks 140th in scrambling and 37th in short approach on the PGA Tour. He has just three top-25s in 12 starts.

Outside of a backdoor top-10 at the Valero Texas Open, Spieth hasn’t finished better than 29th — at last week’s Wells Fargo Championship —  in any event since February. Recently, he admitted to hitting the “reset button” on his game before the final three majors of the year.

Spieth downplayed his potential feat, and the PGA Championship in general.

“For me, it’s like the PGA Championship feels decently similar to a number of tournaments we play,” Spieth said to ABC News. “I don’t mean that in a bad way. It’s played on some of the biggest, best golf courses. But the identity is not the same as the other three. In my mind, you don’t need to find a different way to win, versus guys who don’t have some of the other ones.

“We play a few tournaments a year that could be PGA Championships if you change the branding and the grandstands.”

Spieth insisted the idea of the career slam hasn’t weighed on him in years.

“I remember thinking about it in ’17 because it was right after The Open and I was playing so well,” Spieth said. “But I don’t feel like it will build up over time, not like people talk about Rory’s building up over time.”

McIlroy, the no. 2 player in the world, has been on a heater since missing out on the career slam at Augusta — and since the world no. 1 and Masters winner, Scottie Scheffler, has sat out. McIlroy and Shane Lowry teamed up to win the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, then McIlroy stormed past Xander Schauffele at Quail Hollow to seize his fourth Wells Fargo victory.

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