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Spieth seeks to return to championship form

Jordan Spieth seeks to return to the form that made him a three-time major champion

May 15--FARMINGDALE, N.Y. -- Jordan Spieth's third attempt at golf's career Grand Slam will begin Thursday at the PGA Championship, but his recent form would suggest that his game must improve for him to achieve that milestone.

Spieth, 25, has not won since the 2017 British Open at Royal Birkdale. In 13 events this year on the PGA Tour, his best finish is a tie for 21st at the Masters. Last week, he shot 68-67-67 in his first three rounds at his hometown Byron Nelson Classic but closed with a 71 to finish in a tie for 29th.

Spieth, a former world No. 1 who is ranked 39th this week going into the year's second major at Bethpage Black, said he has struggled with his driver throughout his slump but he sees signs that the problem will be remedied before too long.

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"My setup got a little bit lazy and instead of finding that out, my swing started to kind of go up instead of around me," he said Wednesday. "I'm trying to get it right back to where it was in 2017 where I was first in tee to green on the Tour, and we have all the data points to do it. It's just a difficult move for me right now, and it just takes a little bit of time to work it back and get the timing right."

He said at the Byron Nelson, he was feeling so good with the driver that he tried to bring a big draw back to his array of shots, "and then I hooked a couple out of play ... making kind of a dumb decision to start the round to try to bring in a couple more shots but not going about it the right way."

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Spieth admitted he has thoughts of the Grand Slam, a feat performed by only five players -- Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Tiger Woods.

"It would be a pretty unique fraternity to be in there," he said. "That would be a dream come true for me. But I also recognize that if I continue to stay healthy and play well, I'll have, I don't know, 30 chances at it. One of them is bound to go my way, right?

"I just go week to week and try and set up to hit my first tee shot [Thursday] down the fairway and then try to hit the second shot on the green and then make a putt and figure out how to birdie the next. It's going to be very here in the moment for me, just as it is at every major. I feel like I'm more patient in majors with letting courses come to me than I am at other tournaments, and I feel like this is a good time for me to test that out."

This article is written by Joe Juliano from The Philadelphia Inquirer and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.