Spieth 'motivated' to pay back Day at Tour Championship

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 23, 2015 5:07 PM

By Larry Fine

ATLANTA (Reuters) - Jordan Spieth said he was "destroyed" by Jason Day's red-hot scoring in recent weeks and was aiming at some payback on the East Lake layout that hosts this week's Tour Championship.

Spieth is intent on reviving a spectacular season in which he followed his record-tying, 18-under-par Masters win in April with victory at the U.S. Open. He then tied for fourth at the British Open and was runner-up to Day at the PGA Championship.

But the last two months have been ruled by Day and Spieth had a front row seat.

"Five of my last seven rounds were (played) with Jason and some of the biggest rounds of the year," Spieth told reporters on Wednesday. "He destroyed my score in those rounds, for lack of a better term.

"It is very motivating.

"It makes me want to get back to the level I was playing at this whole year, to get on top of my game and see if the top of my game can beat the top of anybody else's game when they're at their best."

Spieth, who mastered Augusta National last April for his first major golf title, also said that East Lake puts him in a similar frame of mind.

The 22-year-old American, who has had an up-close view of Day's domination, wants some payback and believes he can return to top form in the event starting on Thursday that closes out the FedExCup playoffs.

Spieth said East Lake, which was Bobby Jones' home course, and Augusta National, the club which Jones co-founded and course he helped design with Alister MacKenzie, were alike.

"The layout, the feel, the slopes, it reminds me a lot of it," Spieth said about the Atlanta course. "Just by the look of it. Obviously the greens are different and the bunkers are a bit different, but it has a very similar look and layout in my mind. And I really like this place."

The Left-wing Paradise of San Francisco
Rachel Alexander

Spieth, who finished tied for second here in 2013, could pay Day back in kind as the two are paired for the first round.

The Texan said he was gearing up for a big 2015 finish at the Tour Championship followed two weeks later by the Presidents Cup, approaching them both as if they were majors.

"I've got enough strength left, I've got enough mental strength left," said Spieth. "I really want to peak these next two tournaments."

(Editing by Frank Pingue)