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Preview: RBC Heritage

 

Spieth ready for more after Masters success

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (AP) Get ready, Augusta National. Jordan Spieth can't wait for another chance at that green jacket.

The 20-year-old Spieth is in the field at the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links that starts Thursday. He gave no thought to withdrawing after the grind of the Masters, instead feeling energized by his runner-up finish to Bubba Watson.

''It definitely left me hungry and ready to play golf again,'' he said. ''And ready to eventually get back there again, which is, I think, the only way to kind of redeem myself.''

In the fans' view during his pro-am round Wednesday, no redemption was necessary. Spieth was continually stopped by spectators, players, caddies and others on the grounds, who patted him on the back or shook his hand.

Spieth's caddie, Michael Greller, told him, ''Man, I've never seen somebody get so many congratulations for losing.''

''And he's right,'' Spieth said.

Spieth rose to No. 9 in the world this week, the youngest American to make the top 10, and he plans for another big week at Harbour Town. He tied for ninth here a year ago, his first time playing the treacherously tight Pete Dye layout. This time, he's got a bit of job audition, too, paired the next two days with past and present U.S. Ryder Cup captains in Davis Love III and Tom Watson.

''A huge goal of mine has always been, my whole life, to make a Ryder Cup team,'' Spieth said. ''So playing with the captain, I'm sure there will be some extra nerves there trying to impress him.''

Watson's already impressed. He says Spieth showed poise and passion in the final pairing Sunday, qualities the captain covets as he prepares an American team for the Ryder Cup matches at Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland this September.

''He's very mature and he has a good sense of who he is,'' Watson said. ''I like that about him.''

Bubba Watson is off this week, something every Masters champion has done since Zach Johnson followed a victory at Augusta National in 2007 by playing here a few days later.

Seven of the world's top 25 players are in the field. Matt Kuchar, who tied for fifth at the Masters, is the top-ranked player at No. 6. Fifth-ranked Jason Day was scheduled to play but withdrew earlier this week with a thumb injury.

Others here include Johnson (12th) and defending champion Graeme McDowell (14th).

Tom Watson is playing Harbour Town for the first time since 2001. This is mostly a fact-finding mission to meet and talk with players who might end up as captain's picks when his selections are revealed after the PGA Championship.

CBS Sports analyst and six-time major champion Nick Faldo is also making a rare PGA Tour appearance, teeing it up at Harbour Town for the first time since 2006. Does he have a TV substitute lined up should he get in contention on the course where he won his first U.S. tournament 30 years ago?

''Well, Jim (Nantz) likes talking,'' Faldo said with a grin.

The likelihood is whoever's in the booth will be talking about Spieth.

He said as he did at Augusta that he expected to contend for the title and wasn't surprised when he held that two-shot lead on Sunday's front nine. He wished he had the water ball back on his tee shot on the par-3 12th, but pledged to use those errors the next time he's in position to strike.

''There's nothing that's haunting me from last week,'' he said. ''I feel like I played really well to not shoot an over-par round on that course and not make more than a bogey for four days the way that course was playing.''

Spieth had an eventful pro-am round, getting hit on the back of the knee by a wayward wedge shot from a member of his group on the 18th hole. He went to the ground, but quickly got up and doesn't expect to feel any effects this week as he counts down to his next time at Augusta.

''I truly believe that I'll be back,'' he said.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
RBC Heritage field
Robert AllenbyStephen AmesMark D. Anderson
Stuart ApplebyWoody AustinAaron Baddeley
Briny BairdRicky BarnesCharlie Beljan
Jason BohnSteven BowditchScott Brown
Jonathan ByrdPaul CaseyRoberto Castro
Greg ChalmersKevin ChappellK.J. Choi
Stewart CinkTim ClarkChad Collins
Erik ComptonBen CraneBen Curtis
John DalyBrian DavisGlen Day
Chris DiMarcoLuke DonaldJames Driscoll
Ken DukeErnie ElsHarris English
Matt EveryNick FaldoGonzalo Fernandez-Castano
Matthew FitzpatrickJim FurykTommy Gainey
Stephen GallacherBrice GarnettRobert Garrigus
Brian GayLucas GloverPaul Goydos
Bill HaasChesson HadleyJames Hahn
Brian HarmanDudley HartDavid Hearn
Russell HenleyTim HerronJustin Hicks
Charley HoffmanJ.B. HolmesBilly Horschel
Charles Howell IIIJohn HuhBilly Hurley III
Trevor ImmelmanRyo IshikawaZach Johnson
Martin KaymerJerry KellyChris Kirk
Kevin KisnerRussell KnoxJason Kokrak
Matt KucharMartin LairdScott Langley
Danny LeeRichard H. LeeMarc Leishman
Justin LeonardSpencer LevinRick Lewallen
Andrew LoupeDavis Love IIIWill MacKenzie
Jeff MaggertHunter MahanJohn Mallinger
Steve MarinoBen MartinHideki Matsuyama
Graeme McDowellWilliam McGirtBryce Molder
Kevin NaGeoff OgilvyPat Perez
John PetersonCarl PetterssonTed Potter, Jr.
Michael PutnamPatrick ReedJim Renner
Wes RoachJohn RollinsRory Sabbatini
Charl SchwartzelVijay SinghBrandt Snedeker
Jordan SpiethKevin StadlerKyle Stanley
Shawn StefaniHunter StewartKevin Streelman
Chris StroudBrian StuardVaughn Taylor
Josh TeaterNicholas ThompsonBrendon Todd
David TomsCameron TringaleKevin Tway
Tyrone Van AswegenBo Van PeltScott Verplank
Camilo VillegasJohnson WagnerTom Watson
Boo WeekleyMike WeirCharlie Wi
Tim WilkinsonMark WilsonBrendon de Jonge
Strength of field
World RankPlayersNo. in Field
TOP 10Jim Furyk (5),Matt Kuchar (9)2
TOP 25Martin Kaymer (12),Jordan Spieth (13),Billy Horschel (14),Zach Johnson (16),Graeme McDowell (18),Hideki Matsuyama (20),Hunter Mahan (21),Chris Kirk (22),Charl Schwartzel (24)9
TOP 50Patrick Reed (27),Bill Haas (29),Luke Donald (32),Stephen Gallacher (34),Kevin Na (35),Brandt Snedeker (38),Marc Leishman (43),Brendon Todd (45),Kevin Streelman (47)9
TOP 100Ernie Els (51),Russell Henley (53),Kevin Stadler (54),Harris English (57),Matt Every (58),J.B. Holmes (60),Paul Casey (62),Brian Harman (68),Cameron Tringale (69),Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (70),Charley Hoffman (72),Geoff Ogilvy (75),Erik Compton (76),Tim Clark (77),Chris Stroud (78),K.J. Choi (79),Ryo Ishikawa (82),Ben Martin (84),Kevin Chappell (85),Chesson Hadley (86),Charles Howell III (94),Brendon de Jonge (95),Russell Knox (100)23
Course: Harbour Town Golf Links, Par 71 | Yardage: 6864
HoleParYardageHoleParYardage
10445114410
11443625502
12443034469
13437343200
14319255540
15558864419
16443473195
17318584473
18447294332