Texas Ranger: Can Jordan Spieth add to his trophy haul in this week’s AT&T Byron Nelson?

The American enjoys playing in his home state and will be eager to complete perfect preparation for next week’s PGA Championship.

There's a new course for this week's AT&T Byron Nelson, but that's unlikely to faze Jordan Spieth.

The tournament is a celebration of the life and legacy of one of the greatest golfers to emerge from Texas, a man who claimed five Major wins and famously won 11 tournaments in a row during the 1945 season.

Spieth is the Lone Star state's latest golfing superstar and, in addition to excelling right around the world, he has also always thrived on home soil.

The most recent example of this was at the start of last month.

Spieth had dropped hints, pretty big ones in fact, that his form had returned, however the win was proving elusive as he headed to San Antonio's Oaks Course for the Texas Open.

He was pushed hard by another Texas specialist, California's Charley Hoffman, but he eventually prevailed, winning for the first time since his spectacular triumph in the 2017 Open at Royal Birkdale.

A week later he was third at the Masters: another step in the right direction, more confirmation that the old Spieth - prattling on at his ball, jerking his shoulders, holing outrageous putts - was back.

And now he returns to Texas for a last run-out ahead of next week's PGA Championship and he's almost certainly pleased that the event has a new host.

He owns brilliants records at Colonial, San Antonio and Houston, but the venues used for this week's tournament have never quite been so susceptible to his charms.

True, he made plenty of cuts at Las Colinas and Trinity Forest; the difficulty was making any sort of impression on the leaderboard.

The decision to move the event to TPC Craig Ranch is therefore one he probably relishes, especially given his fondness for contesting a win prior to a Major challenge.

Spieth is best price 10/1 this week with Paddy Power offering eight places.

Spieth has one win and another four top eight finishes from his last seven strokeplay starts so does that make him a decent bet this week?

Let's take a closer look at his record in the week before a Major, in the state of Texas, and also in 2021.

Spieth in the week before a Major

2013 - he won the John Deere Classic to earn a last minute spot at the Open.

2014 - a missed cut at the Houston Open prior to the Masters, T7th at the John Deere before the Open, and T49th in the Bridgestone Invitational ahead of the PGA Championship.

2015 - second at the Houston Open before winning the Masters, a second victory at the John Deere before contending at the Open, and T10th at Firestone ahead of the PGA Championship.

2016 - T13th at the Houston Open in the lead-up to the Masters.

2017 - another missed cut at the Houston Open and T13th at Firestone before the PGA Championship.

2018 - third at the Houston Open prior to his Augusta visit and T60th at Firestone ahead of the last Major of the year.

2019 - T30th at San Antonio before the Masters and T29th in this event ahead of the rescheduled PGA Championship.

2020 - T30th at the St Jude before the PGA Championship, a missed cut in the Safeway Open before the US Open and another missed cut at the Houston Open prior to the Masters.

2021 - victory in the Texas Open before the Masters.

In all: 18 starts, six top eight finishes, three of them wins.

Spieth in Texas

AT&T Byron Nelson

Wherever the event has been played, Spieth has been consistent but not exceptional. At Las Colinas he made seven starts, played the weekend six times, but found only two top 20s. When it moved to Trinity Forest he was 2-for-2 at making the weekend without adding to the top 20 count.

Charles Schwab Challenge

Spieth adores Colonial Country Club. He's never missed a cut in eight visits, has landed top 15s, was champion in 2016 and finished second on defence.

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Texas Open

His love for San Antonio's Oaks Course is not far off his adoration of Colonial. Six starts, five cuts made, three of them converted into top 10s including second in 2015 and victory last month.

Houston Open

He liked Houston Country Club (six starts, four cuts made, three top 15s including a third and a second) but missed the weekend in the first edition held at Memorial Park last year.

All strokeplay in Texas: 30 starts, 25 cuts made, 15 top 20s, seven top three finishes including two wins.

Spieth in 2021

He missed the cut in his first start, at the Farmers Insurance Open, and was T48th at THE PLAYERS, but otherwise this has been a sparkling year.

He threatened to win at TPC Scottsdale, Pebble Beach, Riviera and Bay Hill, did win the Texas Open, made the knockout stage of the WGC Dell Match Play and was third at the Masters.

The Strokes Gained stats reveal just what an improvement there has been in his game:

Off the Tee - 151st (165th last season)

Approach - 21st (97th)

Around the Green - 12th (19th)

Putting - 38th (105th)

Tee to Green - 39th (90th)

Total - 27th (99th)

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