How a fan saved Jordan Spieth’s Players Championship

Jordan Spieth and a fan on the 9th hole of TPC Sawgrass on Friday.


Jordan Spieth gave him a golf glove. After some thought, he said he deserved more.

“Literally whatever,” to be precise.

“I’m just looking ahead now, I had an extremely lucky breakthrough at 9, otherwise I wouldn’t have played the weekend,” said Spieth. “I’m trying to get this guy’s info and literally this weekend to see what he wants because from now on it’s all because it’s hit him.”

Here we will say that no single shot determines a player’s tournament luck; it is an accumulation. Spieth could have birdied here or there at the TPC Sawgrass, or he could have managed something smaller than the two double bogeys he made in the second round of the Players Championship on Friday and he might have ended up the same result.

Bla bla bla. But where’s the fun in that? Spieth’s final dramaturgy was a hoot. They were very Spieth.

A wild slice of tea? We had. On the 587-yard, par-5 9th – Spieth started on the back nine – he hit the right. It drifted toward the water. “Is that out of the game?” he asked caddy Michael Greller. It would were until…

A ricochet off a man’s knee? We had that next. The man buckled on impact and Spieth’s ball bounced back into the fairway. He was now 277 yards away. And Spieth gave the man the glove. From there, he hit a 3-wood just off the green on the right.

Did we have a chip in? You bet. Spieth hit a wedge, his ball bounced a few times and rolled left to right. That was for an Eagle 3 and a three-over-75.

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Did all this get him into the weekend? Most likely. Spieth finished 36 holes on an equal footing, and the cut appeared to be one when he finished.

Afterwards, Spieth knew what he had gotten away with.

“Yeah, my left foot grabbed when I switched, like pain, and I backed up and thinned one, and I thinned it into the wind, and it was right where there’s water left and right,” he began. “It went into one of the bodies of water and I got it hit the cart path and bounced off the guy’s knee briefly and then also went forward into the fairway and it must have been like that – the way it was supposed to go by.” him, it also went off his knee, up in the air, over some water, I mean it’s the equivalent of flying a green onto an obstacle and hitting a stand and sort of coming back onto the green.

“I’ll probably have to birdie to make the cut, I can’t really birdie if I have to drop it over there in the right rough after hitting my third – it would be a one-on-one been a million-make. Instead, I ended up making a three. A lot of the time I feel kind of bad about it and I don’t focus on the next shot, but I hit a 3wood right where I wanted it and hit a chip right where I wanted it, so I’m very happy to recover from it.

“But yeah I didn’t see it, but when I hit it I thought that’s out of the game. Then suddenly they were like – Joe [Greiner]Max’s caddy [Max Homa], said it got a huge kick; it’s in the fairway. I don’t know what it could be over there other than one person.”

That’s a quote. Spieth had another one.

A reporter asked him if he was enjoying his late foray into making the cut.

“Not at all. I don’t enjoy being on the cutting line.”


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Nick Piastowski

Nick Piastowski Editor

Nick Piastowski is Senior Editor at and Golf Magazine. In his role, he is responsible for editing, writing and developing stories across the golf community. And when he’s not writing about how to hit the golf ball further and straighter, the Milwaukee native is probably playing the game, hitting the ball left, right and short and drinking a cold beer to wash away his score. You can reach him on any of these topics – his stories, his game or his beers – at How a fan saved Jordan Spieth’s Players Championship

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