Spieth to give Players Championship respect it deserves

Jordan Spieth has said he will play the Players Championship like a major in a bid to turn around his poor record at TPC Sawgrass.

Since a strong start on his debut in 2014 when he finished in a tie for fourth position, Spieth has missed three straight cuts.

Asked about his poor record in Ponte Vedra Beach, the three-time major winner replied: “I love this place, I love the golf course but if you’re not on it’s (about) a lot of small areas.

“Small areas to hit your tee shots, small areas to hit your second shots and you really have to think through the place and let it come to you. This is not a place to go out and try and force birdies and I think that’s where I’ve gone the last few years that’s gotten me in trouble.

“A good example would be like on number one here, when the pin is front left. If you’re not in the fairway you can’t get anywhere near the hole, but I’ll miss it in the left rough and (still) try and land it on that tier right next to the hole.

“It’s just situations like that where the patience I seem to display at Augusta, out here the last couple years I just haven’t had that patience.

Paired with best friend Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy for the first two rounds, Spieth said that he needed a new attitude if he is ever to win what is regarded by most as the “fifth major”.

“I haven’t approached it like I approach the major championship-calibre golf and this tournament and this golf course are major-championship calibre and therefore I need to go in with a different game plan and mindset and stick to it on the golf course.

“The first year I played here I almost won it and so I just kind of assumed that it would come easy to me. I kind of looked at the last few years and just kind of came in thinking, ‘Oh, if I miss it in a tough spot I’ll get up and down’.

“Historically that’s happened, but historically now that hasn’t happened. I’m ready to kind of get back on that first-year path but doing it the right way.”

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