Jordan Spieth discusses the difficulty of making swing changes ahead of the Palmer Invitational

The three-time Major Champion also talked about the huge debt he and his peers owe to Arnold Palmer and other legends of the sport.

Rather surprisingly, this week will mark the first time that Jordan Spieth has played the Arnold Palmer Invitational at the Bay Hill Club.

Speaking to the press ahead of Thursday's first round the 27-year-old revealed that in the past his schedule had demanded that he take time off at this time of the year, forcing him to delay his tournament bow.

But he was genuinely excited about what he described as a difficult examination and was also notably keen about his form.

In his last three starts he has landed fourth at the WM Phoenix Open, third at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and then T15th at the Genesis Invitational, his first run of three consecutive top 15 finishes since mid-2019.

He's 28/1 with Paddy Power this week, a price which factors in his novice status on the course.

There are no such concerns about his suitability for Augusta National ahead of April's Masters tournament.

He was a winner there in 2015, finished second the year before and the year after and was third in 2018.

That record, plus the promising signs over the last few weeks, has seen his price in the first Major Championship of the year plummet to 16/1 with the same firm.

Later in his chat, Spieth was keen to acknowledge just how much the PGA Tour membership owes to Arnold Palmer, as a golfer, businessman and human being.

But perhaps his greatest insight was into the difficulties that he and his good friend Rickie Fowler have experienced when trying to transform their swings in the limelight, and whilst also competing against a set of hungry contemporaries.

Here are those thoughts in full.

On understanding Rickie Fowler's form woes because of his own:

"He's a close friend and there's certainly been some similarities in trying to be the best that we can be, in having achieved that, and then hit a dip as well.

"The most difficult thing about struggling is when you've had a lot of success and therefore it's almost impossible to struggle in silence and get your work done in the dark.

html) */?>

"There's just so much noise around and so much emphasis on results versus the true understanding of what your end goal is and how much time that can take in golf.

"We saw a non-human in Tiger Woods be able to make massive changes quicker than what is probably realistic for just about anybody else."

On making changes and competing at the same time:

"It's reality that making significant changes is not going to be easy. The guys are too good out here.

"You can't just continue to compete and win while you're trying to make big changes.

"Rickie's a very, very, very positive person and I think that's going to serve him well.

"He also treats people better than just about anyone I've met so, all in all, he's got a lot more people in his corner than are not.

"They believe in him and he believes in himself, and as long as he continues down that path he's going to be very successful."

On the decision to play this week:

"I wanted to keep the momentum going, to keep playing, and I saw it as kind of a win-win because in the past it's not fit my schedule.

"And honestly? I haven't had much success at THE PLAYERS Championship, so being able to get in some reps ahead of next week could really help."

Spieth impressed on the West Coast Swing this season.
Spieth impressed on the West Coast Swing this season.

On his form:

"I feel good. I feel excited about what I'm working on, trying to fine tune it, to have every tool in the tool box available to me.

"I'm starting to open up, to trust in my tournament play, and I'm just feeling a lot more comfortable on the course and being in-contention."

On the challenge of a tough Bay Hill set-up:

"I love Bermuda greens, I love windy conditions, and I love difficult golf courses.

"It's a little tricky because it seems like a course where course knowledge can go a long way, especially on and around the greens.

"There's a lot of risk-reward, a lot of different ways to play holes, and such a premium on hitting the ball in the fairway to be able to hold greens.

"It seems you have no choice but to pick a shot and if you pull it off you're going to be in business."

On Palmer's legacy:

"It goes without saying how important Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan and now Tiger Woods are to where the game is now, where it's come from, and where it's going forward.

"I was very fortunate to be able to meet and spend a little time with Arnold before he passed. He certainly was a role model.

"He kind of taught us how to be our own brand, but also in the way he treated people and the way that he was.

"He knew he was an entertainer and lived life to its fullest while still being a fierce competitor."

Latest Golf Videos