PGA Tour

Spieth warms up in Houston for Masters

Jordan Spieth (AFP)
Jordan Spieth (AFP)

Los Angeles - Jordan Spieth tees it up on Thursday in the US PGA Tour's Houston Open seeking to build momentum for defending his Masters title.

"There's a lot I need to do this week to better prepare for the Masters and feel that I have the confidence to win. Or at least kind of take it to another level," said Spieth, who was ousted in the round of 16 at last week's WGC Match Play, where eventual winner Jason Day supplanted Spieth atop the world rankings.

Since opening 2016 with a victory in the Tournament of Champions, Spieth hasn't had a top-15 finish in four PGA stroke-play events this year.

He'd like to reverse that trend heading to Augusta National.

Spieth said that after work with coach Cameron McCormick his swing is "right where we want it to be going into the Masters."

What he still hopes to test in Houston, however, is "hitting nerve-wracking shots and putts."

Last year, Spieth held the third-round lead in Houston and produced a clutch putt at the final hole to make the three-way playoff won by J.B. Holmes.

"A win here would obviously be the goal, to get as much momentum as possible," Spieth said. "I drew a lot on this week last year. It certainly kept the momentum alive."

Spieth isn't the only player in the Houston field tuning up for the Masters.

Phil Mickelson is among five former Masters winners that will tee it up on the par-72 course whose set up will offer a similar test to that of Augusta National.

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