Miami - Former world number one Jordan Spieth says he would
swap a $10 million FedEx Cup payday for victory in the Ryder Cup as golf's
biennial battle between the United States and Europe draws ever closer.
Spieth, the 2015 FedEx Cup champion, said helping the USA
wrest back the Ryder Cup from Europe would mean more to him than adding another
multi-million dollar cheque to his bank balance.
"Right now, if I've got a choice, Ryder Cup,"
Spieth told reporters as he prepared for this week's Tour Championship at East
Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, the climax of the FedEx Cup playoff series.
"You want something that you don't have. And that's a
trophy that I've watched the other side of it now, and it hurt," Spieth
The USA takes on Europe next week at Hazeltine National Golf
Club, aiming to prevent a fourth consecutive victory for the dominant Europeans
in the fiercely competitive three-day team event.
Spieth, 23, made his Ryder Cup debut two years ago when
Europe romped to an emphatic 16 1/2 to 11 1/2 victory at Gleneagles in
The Texan said on Tuesday that determination to avoid a
repeat was driving the Americans as they prepared for this year's tussle at
"It was tough at the closing ceremony. We had a good
time that evening, but when we boarded the plane back home, it was an empty
feeling," Spieth said of the 2014 defeat. "We don't want that
Spieth is bullish that the American class of 2016 will be
able to end Europe's reign in the event.
"I'm pretty confident about how we're going to go about
our business. I think we've got a fantastic team this year, one of the best
teams I can remember looking back at," he said.
US captain Davis Love III has one more captain's pick to
confirm, a decision which will be made on Sunday night after the conclusion of
the Tour Championship. World number seven Bubba Watson was a surprising
omission when Love named three of his captain's earlier this month, a situation
which Spieth admitted was "awkward."
"I couldn't imagine being in his position, wondering
why at seven in the world," Spieth said. "So it's an awkward position
to be in."
Spieth's preparations for the Tour Championship included a
round with Watson at Hazeltine earlier this week during a pre-Ryder Cup get
"He didn't seem upset about anything. He didn't seem
like he was entitled to any position or any advantage over anybody else,"
"I think he really feels like he needs to go do his job
this week. The more he's questioned about it, the more potential for that to
bother him, which I hope he's not pestered with it all week."
Despite the sympathy for Watson, Spieth said the final place
on the US team should go to whoever demonstrates the best form.
"We want whoever's playing the best to be the last
pick," he said. "There's, I think, five or six options. It's going to
be up to the captains to make that choice, and we're welcoming of whoever that
is, obviously, and excited to move forward."