Spi­eth lead­ing FedEx Cup by giv­ing him­self chances

Manteca Bulletin - - Sports -

LAKE FOR­EST, Ill. (AP) — Jor­dan Spi­eth al­ready has won 14 times around the world, which al­ready places him in unique ter­ri­tory. Over the last 75 years, Jack Nick­laus and Tiger Woods are the only other play­ers to have at least 10 vic­to­ries and three ma­jors be­fore turn­ing 25.

That’s only part of the Spi­eth pro­file.

Nearly as im­pres­sive are the 15 times he has fin­ished run­ner-up, which Spi­eth sees more as op­por­tu­nity than any mea­sure of fail­ure.

“I know you’re in­dif­fer­ent when you’re ask­ing the ques­tion, but I think of it pos­i­tively,” he said Wed­nes­day. “There’s been that many tour­na­ments that I’ve been in the thick of things and truly had a chance to win.”

That in­cludes the last two FedEx Cup play­off events.

Spi­eth lost in a play­off on Long Is­land when Dustin John­son smashed a 343-yard drive and a hit a wedge to 4 feet for birdie. Then, he was tied for the lead at the TPC Bos­ton with five holes to play un­til Spi­eth missed two greens with long irons and Justin Thomas didn’t miss hardly any­thing in a three­shot vic­tory.

There are worse times of the year to set­tle for sec­ond.

Those con­sec­u­tive run­nerup fin­ishes el­e­vated Spi­eth to No. 1 in the FedEx Cup go­ing into the BMW Cham­pi­onship, and that’s not a bad place to be. He is as­sured of be­ing among the top five seeds who only have to win the Tour Cham­pi­onship next week to cap­ture the $10 mil­lion bonus.

“If I fin­ish run­ner-up this week, un­less one of two other peo­ple win, I will have ac­com­plished the goal of be­ing No. 1 go­ing into East Lake,” he said.

John­son and Thomas are the play­ers to whom he re­ferred, and that’s only part of the bat­tle at Con­way Farms.

The pri­mary goal of the 70-man field is to fin­ish in the top 30 and get to East Lake for the Tour Cham­pi­onship, where ev­ery­one has a math­e­mat­i­cal shot at cap­tur­ing the FedEx Cup and its lu­cra­tive prize.

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