Jordan Spieth admits it’s incomprehensible that he’ll tee off at the British Open on Thursday chasing golf’s grand slam.
The 21-year-old is contesting just his third Open championship after debuting in 2013 at Muirfield as the last player included in the 156-man field after winning the John Deere Classic in the USA.
The American barely had time to pack for his chartered flight for Scotland back then.
Now he is bidding to join the legendary Ben Hogan as only the second man to win golf’s first three majors of the year.
“I don’t think I could have imagined sitting here (in this position) this soon,” the reigning Masters and US Open champion said ahead of his opening round at St Andrews.
“I certainly wanted to be at some point, but it’s pretty cool to be here this early and to have the opportunities we have going forward.”
Spieth admits he felt overawed when he started climbing up the leaderboard at Muirfield.
“I got into contention there on Saturday and started to make a little move,” he recalled.
“And I remember almost thinking like that was too big for me at the time in a way.
“I felt like I wanted to compete; I loved the pressure and I felt like I could do it, but it was a position I’d never been in and it was an odd feeling being in contention in a major on a weekend.
“It was brief. I didn’t finish well that round.”
Two years on and Spieth is now one of golf’s great frontrunners who will replace the injured Rory McIlroy as world No.1 if he wins the Open on Sunday.
The Texan, who credits his spectacular final-round 63 to win the Australian Open last December as the spark for his stunning run, hasn’t always been the best closer.
“I just wasn’t sure how I’d be able to handle the Masters this year leading all four rounds and being able to close it out,” Spieth said.
“You don’t sleep well on the lead in a major, and so to do it for a few days and still continue to play the best golf I’ve ever played and putt the best I’ve ever putted, that gave me a lot of confidence.
“Really, that tournament right there (made me believe) we can do this going forward in each one if we get the chance. We’ve done it before, why can’t we do it again?”
Spieth will tee off at 9.33am (6.33pm AEST) alongside US Open runner-up Dustin Johnson and Japanese star Hideki Matsuyama.