Spieth welcomes gusting winds forecast at Colonial

Reuters News
Posted: May 25, 2016 3:26 PM

(Reuters) - Strong winds forecast for this week's Colonial tournament in Fort Worth, Texas have put a smile on the face of U.S. Open champion Jordan Spieth who believes he will benefit from the challenge at Colonial Country Club.

Spieth struggled with his swing at last week's AT&T Byron Nelson, fading into a tie for 18th after trailing by just two shots heading into the final round, but feels his game can only improve with a more imaginative approach in gusty conditions.

"Given the forecast, it's going to take a lot of imagination," American Spieth told reporters on Wednesday while preparing for Thursday's opening round. "There's going to be 20-plus mph winds and I think that's going to really help me.

"Less focus on the swing and more focus on results ... imagination, paint a picture, work different kind of trajectories, just be an artist out there ... I think that is going to be really good for me.

"It plays into a more natural state for my ball-striking, so I am pretty excited about the tougher conditions that are predicted for this week."

Thunderstorms have been forecast as "likely" for Thursday and Friday at Colonial, along with winds gusting up to 30 mph (48.3 kph), with improving weather over the weekend.

At the Byron Nelson, Spieth was frustrated by his ball-striking and relied on superb scrambling as he played his way into contention through the first three rounds, having missed the cut the previous week at the Players Championship.

"I'm at a much more natural feeling right now than I was this past Thursday through Sunday in my swing ... a little more connected in the swing, I feel less loose," said the world number two, the local favorite this week.

"(I'm) much more kind of swinging with what my body wants me to do versus fighting it, which is what I felt like I have been doing. It seems a lot easier for me right now."

Spieth, who has played just two PGA Tour events since his final-round meltdown at last month's Masters, heads a solid field at Colonial where 10 of the world's top 30 players will be competing, including seventh-ranked Australian Adam Scott.

American Chris Kirk defends the title he claimed by one shot last year, adding his name to an impressive list of winners at Colonial where golfing great and Fort Worth resident Ben Hogan triumphed five times.

(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Frank Pingue)