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Spieth not distracted by career grand slam thoughts at PGA Championship

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Spieth not distracted by career grand slam thoughts at PGA Championship
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FARMINGDALE, N.Y. (Reuters) – Jordan Spieth says he is not wasting time thinking about completing the career grand slam as he begins a third bid to seal a full set of major titles at this week’s PGA Championship.

The 25-year-old American is not among the favourites at Bethpage Black this week given his recent form, but he feels the day will come when he completes his major collection.

“Not much, honestly,” he said when asked about how much time in his preparations he has spent contemplating the career grand slam.

“Certainly every PGA Championship week I understand that that’s going to be the case, and I think I’d be the sixth person, which would be a pretty unique fraternity to be in there,” Spieth told his pre-tournament news conference.

“That would be a dream come true for me. But I also recognise that if I continue to stay healthy and play well, I’ll have, I don’t know, 30 chances at it. One of them is bound to go my way, right?”

Spieth’s last victory came at the 2017 British Open at Royal Birkdale, a triumph that gave him the third leg of the career grand slam. He has been struggling this season, however, to regain his status among golf’s elite.

The former world number one is now 39th in the rankings and has yet to finish in the top 20 of any tournament this season as he works on fixing some technical aspects of his game.

“My setup got a little bit lazy, and instead of finding that out, my swing started to kind of go up instead of around me, and I’m trying to get it right back to where it was in 2017 where I was first in tee to green on the (PGA) Tour,” said Spieth.

“I can kind of do what I’m trying to do, but to consistently time it is just going to take a little bit of time.”

Spieth’s chances of completing his collection of grand slam titles this week could depend heavily on playing conditions at Bethpage Black, which do not bode well for him given recent rain that has left the course soft and soggy.

“I seem to play better golf in major championships when courses are firmer, quicker greens, and the scores are closer to par than when it’s long, soft and you’ve got to still go low,” said Spieth, who will play the first two rounds with world number one Dustin Johnson and Spaniard Jon Rahm.

“That’s just when I look back. If I’m on, I feel like it doesn’t matter, but if I’m a little bit off, then it’s nicer if it’s on that side of things for me.”

(Reporting by Andrew Both; Writing by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Toby Davis)

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