Resurgent Jordan Spieth continues ominous build-up to The Masters

American impresses again ahead of next week’s Augusta National showpiece after an opening 5-under 67 at the Valero Texas Open

Month by month, week by week, day by day, Jordan Spieth looks to be timing everything towards a glorious peak at Augusta National.

The Masters which begins next Thursday is the American's favourite event. And why wouldn't it be given his stellar record there.

It was love at first sight when he made a huge run at the title on debut in 2014, eventually finishing runner-up to Bubba Watson.

Just 12 months later, he ripped the field apart, powering to a four-shot win to secure the Green Jacket and a first major title.

Since then he's had further chances to add to it, finishing tied second when defending in 2016 and taking third in 2018 after a stunning final-day charge.

But a fall down the world rankings in the last couple of seasons meant Spieth was as big as 50/1 for Masters glory when the 2021 betting first opened.

He even drifted out to 66/1 in a place after starting the calendar year with a missed cut at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.

But since then, Spieth has found a spark. He was fourth and third in back-to-back weeks at the Phoenix Open and Pebble Beach Pro-Am, added a top 15 at Riviera and then bagged another top four in the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill.

His Masters odds were falling all the time and the bookies continued to be alert with punters falling over themselves to back him.

Going into this week's Texas Open, Spieth was a best 14/1 with William Hill to win at Augusta.

He remains that price with the Leeds-based bookies but one firm has now cut him to 10/1 after the three-time major champ started his week in Texas with a strong 5-under-par 67 to post the early clubhouse lead.

A win for Spieth at TPC San Antonio this week is likely to cause a further stampede and, who knows, by the start of The Masters he could even be challenging defending champion Dustin Johnnson for favouritism.

Spieth eventually finished day one of the Texas Open in a tie for fourth spot. Here, we look at his stats and what he said after round one.

Jordan Spieth round one stats

Strokes Gained: Off The Tee - 88th (-0.110)

Strokes Gained: Approach - 12th (2.308)

Strokes Gained: Around The Green - 7th (2.087)

Strokes Gained: Putting - 18th (2.083)

Strokes Gained: Tee To Green - 4th (4285)

Strokes Gained: Total - T4 (6.368)

Betting: Spieth is 9/2 with Paddy Power to win the Texas Open

On his opening round

"I certainly would have signed up for 5 under starting out. Felt like I played some really nice golf on our front nine, the back nine. Then just kind of got a little loose off the tee on the front nine, our second nine, and was able to kind of make due. I hit some decent drives, ended up in iffy spots. Overall, just chipped and putted really well, which was the difference maker today. I didn't quite hit it as good as I have been, but certainly the short game came through.

"Just kind of put a little more emphasis on that this week, so kind of a little balancing act right now trying to get enough work in on all facets of the game.

On whether he felt like he stole one on the 8th hole (he made birdie-4 after being over 200 yards away in two)

"Oh, yeah, but then I feel like I gave one back on 9. In the fairway on 8, if you told me I could play in even par, I would have taken it, so no reason to get too upset on 9. I did for sure steal one. I had 208 to that back right pin. I was trying to just kind of cut it into the breeze and have it come down short of the ridge. The wind kind of stopped, so it got all the way back there and took advantage. I won't make many birdies from that far in on that hole very often."

On hitting a provisional on 9 and not being happy with his contact

"I had really bad contact today. Normally, even if I don't necessarily strike the ball well, normally I'm hitting it close to the middle of the face. So it's hard for me other than just go get some reps in. I mean, the right ones are because I hit some toe balls on the front nine and now I'm playing fade and you don't want to toe it. So I hit it off the heel and those are going to spin over. So it just got a little bit off there today off the tee on contact. The rest of the swing, I mean, I feel like I'm swinging the same and out in front of it and putting a good move on it. I just, when you're off by five, six millimeters off of contact on either side, it will affect that ball flight and get you thinking a little more."

On looking over to caddie Michael Greller after hitting his provisional

"Yeah, I was telling him, man, I just can't find the centre of the face right now. I hit that one as much off the heel as the one before. Just make sure that I was playing draw versus fade. Anyway, yeah, it was just kind of an off day on contact, but I mean, it's a nice enough afternoon, should be able to get enough reps in and just kind of clean it up a little bit."

On his short game

"Other than 9, I wedged it really well today. Wedged it better than I did the last couple of events and chipped the ball really well. I didn't have much stress for par after missing greens. Hit a couple really nice chip shots on our back nine, the front there in the middle of that. Yeah, I mean, 5 under around this track's a good score. I'd take four more of them. I think tomorrow afternoon it's going to be as challenging as it was this morning if not more when we have a little breeze picking up, so I'll be probably chasing somebody around 10 under and just trying to hit fairways and greens."

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