Golf

There won't be another king of golf like Woods

Spieth says golf is now a level playing field

Golf is unlikely ever to be dominated again by a single player in the way that Tiger Woods ruled the sport, world No. 3 Jordan Spieth said ahead of the start of the British Open at Royal Birkdale today.

Spieth has come the closest to any player of repeating the kind of dominance that Woods enjoyed, producing a magnificent 2015 season when he captured the US Masters and US Open titles and came close to winning the British Open and US PGA Championship.

But the 23-year-old American was unable to maintain that extraordinary level of performance last year and says those hoping for a new king of golf may be waiting in vain.

"I wouldn't get your hopes up. What Tiger's done and, having experienced a year like he continued to do for years, it just takes a lot out of you. It's very tough to do," said Spieth.

"What I'm saying is, I doubt you'll see a dominance like that maybe ever again in the game.

"I just think guys are learning, guys are getting stronger.

"Guys are winning younger, playing more fearless, even in Major championships, and I just think that it's so difficult now.

Guys are winning younger, playing more fearless... and I just think that it’s so difficult now.World No. 3 Jordan Spieth on why golf is unlikely to be dominated by a single player

"I wouldn't get your hopes up for a domination like that whatsoever."

Spieth will play with defending champion Henrik Stenson and South Korean Kim Si Woo in the first two rounds of the British Open.

He arrived in England fresh from winning the recent Travelers Championship to claim his 10th US PGA Tour title and his second of the year.

But he said picking a winner for the British Open is impossible, given the notoriously unpredictable weather conditions and the recent trend of first-time winners.

Since his double triumph two years ago, eight subsequent Majors have yielded eight separate winners, underlining how much competition there is at the top of the sport.

And there are plenty of contenders to keep that run going this week, including Spain's Irish Open winner Jon Rahm and Englishman Tommy Fleetwood.

That is why Spieth says recent talk of a "Big Four" comprising himself, Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day is redundant.

"I think you look at a guy like Jon Rahm, how does he deserve not to be in a conversation like that? What he just did at the Irish Open... he destroyed the field," said Spieth.

"I don't think he would have been someone that you would put there if you were about to name four guys.

"I don't know what's better for golf, (but) from my opinion, it's very exciting when you've got to beat that many great players with that much confidence."

"It could be anybody this week."

- WIRE SERVICES

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