Open 2015: Don't compare me to Tiger Woods, says Jordan Spieth

    (CNN)He stands on the verge of creating golfing history -- but Jordan Spieth doesn't want people to compare him to all-time great Tiger Woods.

    Speaking the day before the Open Championship tees off at St. Andrews, the spiritual home of golf, the 21-year-old American said he felt such comparisons were "unfair."
    If he wins Britain's only major tournament, he will become just the second player in golf history -- after Ben Hogan in 1953 -- to complete a calendar-year treble also including the Masters and the U.S. Open.
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      But Spieth feels comparisons between his career and that of Woods -- who had won only one of his 14 major titles by the age of 22 -- is pointless at this stage.
      "I think the parallels drawn between me and Tiger are unfair. That's not something that, in my mind, is necessary," he told reporters at the Scottish links course on Wednesday.
      "I think that's something people are looking for. It's something I don't think that can be compared until at least midway through a career.
      "This is an early timetable. When people ask me about those kind of parallels, I try to shake it off because it's not the same.
      "I'm extremely happy with where I've been and how I've been able to compete and win a couple of majors at my age.
      "But at the same time, I certainly have an appreciation for how Tiger could continue and continue and continue to keep winning majors at just an unbelievable percentage of the amount that he played in, because it's not easy. It's very challenging."
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      Spieth said that for Woods to consistently achieve in the way he did showed "a completely different level that I think nobody playing right now has seen."
      He aims to put the prospect of claiming his place in golfing history to the back of his mind as he concentrates on confronting the challenges of St. Andrews.
      "I like to study the history of golf. To have a chance to do what only one other person in the history of golf has done doesn't come around very often," said the Texan, who won the John Deere Classic PGA Tour event in Illinois after a playoff Sunday having decided not to prepare in Europe.
      "I'm embracing that opportunity but, by the time I start on Thursday, it won't be in my head," he added.
      "It'll be about how can I bring this Open Championship down to just another event, get out there and try and get myself into contention. But I am certainly aware of it."
      The tournament favorite played down weather forecasts which indicated he could be facing difficult blustery and rainy conditions on Thursday, when he tees off with compatriot Dustin Johnson -- who tied for second at last month's U.S. Open after a poor final hole -- and Japan's Hideki Matsuyama.
      "I think it's fun," said Spieth, who will take Rory McIlroy's No. 1 ranking if he lifts the Claret Jug Sunday. "If we wanted good weather, we'd go and play in California. We come over here because we want to embrace the opportunity of handling these conditions.
      "But I don't think there's anything more special in golf than playing an Open Championship at the home of golf.''
      Meanwhile Woods, who this week insisted he has no intention of giving up golf despite a poor run of form, will be partnered by his friend Jason Day, of Australia, and 2010 champion Louis Oosthuizen, of South Africa.
      The 39-year-old hasn't won a major championship for eight years and has plummeted to 241st in the world ranking. However, he has won two of his three Opens at St. Andrews, in 2000 and 2005.
      McIlroy will not defend his title as he is recovering from an ankle injury suffered while playing soccer, meaning Spieth is the top-ranked player in the field ahead of compatriots Bubba Watson, Johnson, Sunday's Scottish Open winner Rickie Fowler and veteran Jim Furyk.