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Jordan Spieth meets “Elephant in the Room” at the PGA Championship.

TULSA, Oklahoma — Jordan Spieth knows what’s at stake this week. He also knows this could be his best chance yet.

He’s just one PGA championship win away from ending the career grand slam and stepping into the exclusive airs of some of golf’s greatest.

Only five men have made it – they’ve won at least one Masters, US Open, British Open and PGA Championship: Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Gary Player, Ben Hogan and Gene Sarazen.

Woods was the last of the five players to complete the Slam, 22 years ago in 2000.

This week’s PGA, which begins Thursday in Southern Hills, is Spieth’s sixth attempt at a career slam. Interestingly, he teamed with Woods and Rory McIlroy in the first two rounds. McIlroy only needs a Masters win to complete his own career slam.

Jordan Spieth during a practice round of the PGA Championship in Southern Hills on Tuesday.
Jordan Spieth during a practice round of the PGA Championship in Southern Hills on Tuesday.
AP

“I don’t think I talk to others about it much, but at this point since I won the other three, it’s certainly a elephant in the room for me,” Spieth said on Wednesday. “It’s a goal of mine. If you would just tell me I was going to win one tournament for the rest of my life, I would say I want to win this one given where things are. If you had told me before I started my career that I would ever win a tournament, I would say the Masters because that was my favorite tournament growing up.

“But things are changing and that obviously has significant significance. Long term it would be really cool to say that you have captured the four biggest golf tournaments in the world, played in different parts of the world and in different styles too. So when you win a career grand slam, you feel like an accomplished golfer.”

Spieth comes to Southern Hills in form. Since a stunning missed cut at the Masters in April, the first time in his career that he missed the weekend in Augusta, Spieth won the following week at the RBC Heritage at Hilton Head and last week finished runner-up Byron Nelson in Texas, a home game for him.

As he won the third of the four legs to the slam, the 2017 British Open, Spieth’s five attempts to win the PGA included a tie for 28th place in 2017, a tie for 12th place in 2018, a Tie for third place in 2019 and a tie for 71st in 2020 and a tie for 30th last year.

Jordan Spieth speaks during a PGA Championship press conference on Wednesday.
Jordan Spieth speaks during a PGA Championship press conference on Wednesday.
Getty Images

“[I’ve]come close a couple of times,” he said. “This wasn’t necessarily my most successful major, but I’m feeling good this week. If I can play well over the next few days given the crowd that’s going to be out there… I think the weekend might actually feel like a breather in a way. That’s how I see it.”

Spieth, who is ranked No. 8 in the world, was referring to the marquee grouping he is in for the first two rounds which will make for massive crowds.

His mindset is not to push himself too hard to complete the slam. He’s 28 and should have plenty of chances to try.

“I think if I look at it long-term … Man, if I’m sane I’d try to have 20 chances, and maybe one in 20 (I’ll do it),” he said. “I’m not trying to force it this week, I think that’s the best way to say it. Just try to do what I did, stick to my routine, my game, block out all outside noise and shoot as low as possible.

https://nypost.com/2022/05/18/jordan-spieth-faces-elephant-in-the-room-at-pga-championship/ Jordan Spieth meets “Elephant in the Room” at the PGA Championship.

JOE HERNANDEZ

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