Spieth, who is ranked outside the world top 20 for the first time since 2013, got his week off to an ideal start. 

By Daniel Rapaport
February 07, 2019

Jordan Spieth needs a turnaround—he hasn't won since the 2017 British Open, and he's dropped to outside the top 20 in the Official World Golf Rankings for the first time since 2013. 

If Thursday is any indication, this could be the week to spark a resurgence for the three-time major winner. 

Spieth opened the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am with a five-under 66 at Monterey Peninsula Country Club's Shore Course, matching scores with his playing partner Dustin Johnson. Two other major champions managed one better at the Shore: both Phil Mickelson and Jason Day fired 65s. 

Spieth shot even par on his opening nine before catching fire on the home stretch. He birdied 10, 12, 13, 16 and 18 to close with a five-under 32 and post 66.

To be fair, the Shore is considered the easiest of the three courses in rotation this week. Spieth and his pro-am partner, country star Jake Owen, will play their second round at Spyglass Hill before moving to Pebble Beach for Saturday's round. Pebble will also host the final round after a 54-hole cut. 

While a nice week would help Spieth's confidence and world ranking, a high finish would come with an added benefit—Pebble Beach is hosting the U.S. Open in June, granting players an opportunity this week the rare opportunity to play a course in competition just four months before it hosts a major championship. 

Spieth, who doesn't have a top-10 finish since last year's Open at Carnoustie, expressed confidence in his game before the weekk. 

“I’m in a good place right now,” Spieth told assembled reporters Wednesday, coming off a 35th-place finish at the Farmers Insurance Open two weeks ago. “I feel like my game’s trending the right direction and sometimes that means results are coming soon, sometimes it means they’re coming later, but they’re coming.”

He's put himself in great position to make it this week. 

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