The two-time major winner spoke to us about Jordan Spieth's mindset at St Andrews.

Curtis Strange has told Golf Monthly that Jordan Spieth will not be affected by Rory McIlroy’s absence at St Andrews this week.

The Open begins on Thursday with Spieth the favourite to pick up his third major in a row.

However, 2014 Open champion Rory McIlroy will not be present to challenge Spieth in Scotland after rupturing his ankle ligaments last week.

Two-time US Open winner Strange told GM that he doesn’t feel the Northern Irishman’s absence will put any pressure on Spieth.

“It’s interesting to think about that, but I don’t think it affects him [Spieth] one way or the other. I really don’t,” he said.

“I mean he has enough on his plate and on his mind right now to worry about outside of things like that.”

 

Watch the players talk about their St Andrews memories

 

Spieth picked up his second John Deere Classic title on Sunday when he beat Tom Gillis in a play-off in Illinois.

Strange said that, despite his victory, the travelling could have more of an affect on him than McIlroy not being at St Andrews would.

“As we all know, jetlag is a real thing. Links golf and getting used to it is a real thing,” he said.

“Weather is a real thing to acclimate your body to, so I think he’s going to be a little bit behind in preparation by getting there Monday morning, but he’s young and we’ll see how he adjusts.

“But I know for a fact it [McIlroy’s absence] doesn’t affect Jordan one bit. He’s trying to win the third leg of a slam, he has enough on his mind right now.”

Jordan Spieth at Old Course. Credit: Andrew Redington (Getty)

Jordan Spieth at Old Course. Credit: Andrew Redington (Getty)

Strange, who won his US Open titles back-to-back in 1988 and 1989, also said that it’s too early to know what to expect from Tiger Woods.

The three-time Open winner finished 7-under in his last tournament at the Greenbrier Classic, but carded an opening round of 80 at the US Open last month.

Woods has said this week that he still enjoys competing and wants to continue to “feel the rush” and the nerves of playing tournaments.

“If he has made a positive turn in the right direction then of course it’s [St Andrews] a nice place to play,” Strange said.

“With Tiger right now, all we can do is wait, watch how he plays the game and what he shoots. Your judge is one thing and that’s your score. Every afternoon.

“He talks a very good game and how he’s always improving and doing this and he’s doing that better and we know not to ever write him off because he was so good.”