Saturday 24 March 2018

Jordan Spieth keeps focus on staying ahead of McIlroy at top of world


Jordan Spieth says his main objective is to stay above McIlroy in the world rankings
Jordan Spieth says his main objective is to stay above McIlroy in the world rankings

William S Callahan

World No 1 Jordan Spieth's stellar year would be capped with victory in the multi-million dollar FedEx Cup but he admits his main focus is ensuring he stays ahead of Rory McIlroy in the rankings.

The 22-year-old American won the first two Majors of the year, contended in the other two, and has recorded two other victories.

That puts him well ahead of the field as the season enters its final four events, which culminate with the Tour Championship at East Lake with a $10m prize on offer to the overalll champion.

The Texan has emerged as the true challenger to McIlroy, who has four Majors to his name, and overtook the Northern Irishman as World No 1 after the US PGA Championship.

Spieth has every intention of keeping McIlroy at bay and he knows the only way to do that is to keep on winning.

"The only way I think about going about it is just focusing on this week," Spieth said ahead of The Barclays at Plainfield Country Club in New Jersey.

"If you win each week you're going to stay No 1 and in my mind the goal is to approach each tournament to try to win and then try and keep this position for hopefully years.

"But again, it can change in two weeks' time, so I'm aware of that. And that bit of fear on the back end of it is enough to get me going and to keep working hard."

After making his Major breakthrough this year, the season-ending finale, where money appears to be the greatest motivator, may seem something of an anti-climax for Spieth.

He admits it was not on his list of priorities and cannot possibly compare to the sport's premier events but that does not mean he is not taking it seriously.

"I put winning the FedEx Cup below a Major championship. I don't think anybody holds it to the same level," he added.

The Barclays, live, Sky Sports 4, 7.0

Irish Independent

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