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Jordan Spieth in the joy of trash-talking Tiger Woods

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CNN

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It is one of the most unusual sports scenes – Tiger wood He stands idly by while his opponents are crowned victors.

side by side Rory McIlroyWoods had just fallen to emphatic defeat in the seventh edition of the match to the dynamic duo of golf and old friends – Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas.

Armed, the main winner watched 15 times while the winning pair were presented with commemorative bracelets. All night of December 10, trash talk rained like bullets under the lights at Florida’s Pelican club, but Spieth stayed in the room.

“The joy of having this is no match for the joy of standing here with Tiger feeling so upset that he has to stand here for this,” a laughing Spieth said.

Woods’ scripted expression cracked, and a wide smile appeared on the 46-year-old’s face followed by a nod of the head.

Woods alone boasted more six majors and 31 PGA titles than the three greats in the game alongside him combined, a staggering disparity that Spieth was well aware of. The Dallas-born golfer explained that it was this very gap that made the final stroke more satisfying.

“He’s in a position where he doesn’t even need to justify a response,” Spieth told CNN.

He’s laughing, he’s angry. It’s very much like, “Okay, go home, kid.” That’s what I got out of that grin.

“For me, it was the irony. He’s a guy who you would never think about seeing stick with him and have to sit there while someone else wins. Because he didn’t lose much, and the few times he did lose, I’m sure he was a long way from the awards show spot.”

As usual, an exchange between mic players and commentary staff helped drive the friendly, competitive atmosphere of the event, which raised money for relief efforts in Florida in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian in October.

At times, the relentless war of words between Thomas and NBA legend Charles Barkley took center stage over golf itself, the exact opposite of the role Spieth was initially eager to take on.

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Motivation started from the first tee.

“I was very nervous to go because it was a new role – we had to entertain,” Speth admitted.

“It was kind of anxious, like super excited to go, not really knowing what to expect.

“The four of us together, we all had a really good relationship… he brought in a lot of people and a lot of attention, I think that really helped.” [us] relax.”

And based on the duo’s track record, no one is more comfortable than Thomas.

The longtime friends became only the third pair in history to go undefeated in the first four rounds of the Presidents Cup in September, as a flawless 5-0-0 lead extended their combined record across the Presidents Cups and Ryder Cups to 8-2-0.

“We had a lot of fun,” said Speth.

“It takes some of the pressure away when we play, because on a bad hole, one of us will be self-absorbed and the other will be laughing, and all of a sudden you feel a little more comfortable. And on the good holes, we’re exaggerating at each other, using funny he-and-me phrases.”

“Think about going out with your best friend in a high-pressure situation. That has a huge benefit in the back end and the ability to feel super comfortable—it kind of feels addictive.”

Spieth and Thomas celebrate the victory.
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The victory in The Match put the ice on a strong year for Spieth, and he continued to return to his best form.

After bursting onto the scene with three big wins during his first four years on tour, relative stagnation has seen the former world number one fall outside the top 50 for the first time since his historic rookie season in 2020.

However, after ending his 1,351-day Cup drought and finishing runner-up at the World Open last year, Spieth has gone from strength to strength, adding his 13th Tour title in April and an impressive victory in the Presidents Cup to once again climb to the top of the table. the scientist. 15.

Spieth wowed in the Presidents Cup in September.

Spieth believes that the emphasis on mechanical action in his swing has led to the neglect of the chopping and chopping position, but after finding the balance, he is optimistic about achieving the consistency needed to handicap his high standard; To be in tough competition for the major half of the season.

“My goal is always to stand a chance when I sign up on Sunday to win at least two major acts – and that’s where we prepare to peak,” he said.

“It doesn’t mean I have to be in the lead, it just means that when I make the progression, I sit there and say, ‘If I play better golf, I’m going to win this day.'” ”

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