PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – A year ago, the only way Jordan Spieth could get into a PGA Tour event was through help of a sponsor's exemption. By the end of the year, he was a PGA Tour winner and regarded as one of the rising stars in golf.
He has a two-year exemption. He is No. 12 in the world ranking. He's in all four majors. He has the Ryder Cup on his mind.
And he has a balancing act in his sophomore season.
Spieth can set his own schedule, but he also wants to honor the tournaments that gave him his start.
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"I'm going to do both," the 20-year-old Texan said. "I love playing in my home state. But it's a fine line of not playing every event and owing back to those who helped me get here. If I end up playing a lot of golf, I'll be OK. I'm young."
He hasn't determined his schedule going forward. Spieth already has played Torrey Pines and Pebble Beach, two tournaments that gave him exemptions a year ago (he loves Pebble Beach, anyway). He got his biggest break by tying for second in Puerto Rico, but that's the same week as the World Golf Championship in Doral for which he's eligible.
Spieth played 23 tournaments last year. He expects that number to be at least 25 this season. The only events he didn't play last year for which he now is eligible are the Masters, The Players Championship, U.S. Open and Bridgestone Invitational.
"The best advice I got was from Zach Johnson," Spieth said. "He told me to make sure I had a two-week break somewhere."