TOKYO (Reuters) - American Jordan Spieth faces "very tough competition" to return to the top of the world golf rankings this year, he said on Tuesday.
The 23-year-old, who won the U.S. Masters and U.S. Open in 2015, started his campaign with a third-place finish in last week's Sony Open in Hawaii and lies fifth in the rankings.
"A great start to the year and excited for 2017. It's going to be a good year," Spieth told reporters at an event in Tokyo where he unveiled the "Spieth One" golf shoe which he has been working on with U.S. brand Under Armour.
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Asked if Japan's world number six Hideki Matsuyama would be one to watch, Spieth said: "Very, very tough to beat this year."
"Justin Thomas, another friend who just won the last two tournaments, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day, Dustin Johnson - a lot of really good players that are young players in the game of golf right now, it's very, very tough competition."
(Reporting By Reuters Television; Writing by Marie-Louise Gumuchian, editing by Ed Osmond)