Spieth will chase career Slam at PGA Championship

·3-min read
Three-time major winner Jordan Spieth, left, and defending champion Justin Thomas, right, of the United States play a practice round at Oak Hill on the eve of the PGA Championship
Three-time major winner Jordan Spieth, left, and defending champion Justin Thomas, right, of the United States play a practice round at Oak Hill on the eve of the PGA Championship

Jordan Spieth, chasing a career Grand Slam, confirmed Wednesday that he will play in the PGA Championship after two days of practice at Oak Hill testing his injured left wrist.

The three-time major winner smashed tee shots, short irons and wedges from the thick rough and played nine-hole rounds with defending champion Justin Thomas on Wednesday.

Scroll to continue with content

Spieth skipped last week's PGA Tour event in his hometown of Dallas due to "severe pain" in his wrist but pronounced himself ready for the challenge of a major showdown.

"I wouldn't play if I didn't think I was in good enough shape to play," Spieth told The Golf Channel. "I just don't have the reps I'd like to have going into a major but I'm happy to be able to play because I certainly didn't think so a week ago."

Spieth will start at 8:22 a.m. off the 10th tee on Thursday alongside Norway's Viktor Hovland and Irishman Shane Lowry.

He will make a seventh attempt to join the players who have won every major at least once, a list that includes Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Gene Sarazen and Ben Hogan.

Spieth's best result in the event was a runner-up finish in 2015 and his best showing with the career Slam at stake was a share of third in 2019.

Cold conditions and possible frost are in Thursday's forecast with rain predicted to arrive Friday night with showers through the weekend.

World number one Jon Rahm, who won last month's Masters, tries for his second consecutive major victory when he tees off alongside reigning British Open champion Cameron Smith of Australia and 2022 US Open winner Matthew Fitzpatrick of England.

Rahm, who has won four titles this year, would be halfway to a calendar year Grand Slam and leave himself only a British Open title shy of his own career Slam with a triumph at Oak Hill.

"I'm confident. I feel good," Rahm said. "It has been an amazing year. I'm just hoping to keep adding more to it. It has been a lot of fun, and hopefully I can keep riding that wave."

Second-ranked Scottie Scheffler, last year's Masters champion and this year's Players Championship winner, would overtake Rahm for the rankings lead with a victory.

Third-ranked Rory McIlroy, a four-time major winner from Northern Ireland, seeks his first major crown since 2014. He took a mental health break after missing the cut at the Masters and played only one tuneup event before the PGA Championship.

"I needed it at the time," McIlroy said. "Whether it works this week or not remains to be seen."

- DJ 'in good form' -

There will be 16 players from the LIV Golf League competing this week in the first PGA Championship since the breakaway series began last June after luring several big names from the PGA Tour with record purses.

That includes six major champions with a combined 15 major triumphs.

The tour banned LIV players and a court fight ensued with a trial planned for next May. Until then, majors remain the only place where LIV and PGA stars can compete against each other.

Six-time major winner Phil Mickelson and four-time major winner Brooks Koepka shared second at the Masters with two-time major winner Dustin Johnson is coming off a victory in last week's LIV event in Tulsa.

"The game is in good form," Johnson said. "Did everything really nicely last week. Had a couple good practice days here. Really looking forward to the test this golf course is going to provide."