Jordan Spieth nearly 100 percent after bacterial infection, ready for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

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PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Jordan Spieth is coming off a miserable two weeks.

In the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in San Diego last week, Spieth continued to lose a battle with a stomach bug, one that wrecked his second round. With a 78 last Thursday on the South Course, his PGA Tour-best streak of 20 consecutive cuts made came to an end.

While he’s not 100 percent, he’s feeling better, has added back most of the weight he has lost the last 14 days, and is a definite go in this week’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

“I should probably be at 100 percent by Thursday, would be my guess,” Spieth said Tuesday at Pebble Beach. “I mean everything was just kind of running through me. I got a bacterial infection in my stomach and had to get on some meds and I didn’t know that until I finished my round Thursday, the second round, but the test had come back before I teed off and it was what they were testing for and I didn’t see it until I got done or I may not have played.”

Jordan Spieth plays his shot from the ninth tee during the first round of the Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament at Torrey Pines Municipal Golf Course – North Course. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Spieth said his illness started when he took antibiotics to deal with a sinus infection, but that, he said, “destroyed my stomach, as it does.”

And then the bacterial infection came calling.

“It was about five or six days straight of it being pretty bad and I thought it was just going to get better and when it didn’t and when I was playing and I started to feel it while I was playing I was like, I got to go figure out what’s going on,” he said. “My parents even, they were like, ‘Yeah, you just did not look like yourself on, whatever, PGA Tour Live or whatever.”

For what it’s worth, he does look a lot better than he did last Thursday.

And he’s feeling a lot better, too, because this is AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am week, a tournament he won in 2017 and one that boasts some of the most spectacular meetings of land and sea.

He’s finished in the top 10 in five of his nine starts here, his most recent coming when he tied for third last year.

“It’s arguably the most beautiful place in the United States, especially for a golf lover it’s got to be a No. 1 spot,” he said. “And then when we get the forecast that we have this week, it just amplifies how amazing it is to play these golf courses and I’ve played well here, I think in part because I’ve kind of fallen in love with the tracks but also because I have a great time with (country music singer and actor) Jake (Owen). We go out there, he keeps me light and we try and kind of feed off each other as if we’re playing a round at home.

“So I look forward to this week. Yeah, the rounds are long and such, but there’s plenty to look at while we play these courses. So always really embraced it and had success because of that.”

On Tuesday, he played a practice round with Patrick Cantlay, the reigning FedEx Cup champion who also tied for third last year at Pebble.

Patrick Cantlay (left) and Jordan Spieth line up their putts on the 17th green during the conclusion of the rain-delayed first round of the Memorial Tournament golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

“Jordan loves competition,” Cantlay said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s throwing a water bottle in the trash can from 20 feet or trying to make a 25-footer to tie or win a match on the last hole.

“I definitely remember watching him at the Walker Cup in 2011 and we were down, we ended up actually losing the Walker Cup, but I remember watching, I think he was in the lead match on the second day in the afternoon and in singles. And I can’t remember who he was playing (he played Andy Sullivan), but it was blowing 40 miles an hour and our team room was inside but had maybe almost like a one-way view of the first tee.

“And he had got to the tee a few minutes early of the match and he was standing there in a way that made me think that he was definitely going to win his match.

“And he did.

“Sometimes you just get a feeling and it just looked like no matter what happened, no matter what break, no matter how he was feeling about his game, no matter anything that happened, he was going to win his match.

“Certain people can be like that and when he’s going, he can be one of those guys.”

Being the competitor he is, Spieth, despite battling the bug last week, was disappointed his made-cuts streak came to an end. It was a streak that spoke to his consistency in a resurgent year that was highlighted by his victory in the Valero Texas Open, his first win since the 2017 Open Championship. He also finished third in the Masters and second in the Open.

The winner of 12 PGA Tour titles, three being major championships, had fallen to 92nd in the world; he’s now No. 15.

“I hate missing weekends. I wish that there were no cuts ever,” he said. “But it was a little bit of a different circumstance because, yes, I played poorly and it’s not to say that I would have made the cut if I was 100 percent. I told Michael (Greller, his caddie) when I got done I was almost like relieved because I felt like pretty bad and didn’t have anything in the system and I was just hoping that maybe something actually was wrong, so this wasn’t like normal, in a weird way.”