Jordan Spieth explains the one thing you should NEVER do as a teammate

Brooks Koepka Jordan Spieth

Brooks Koepka, left, and Jordan Spieth bump knuckles during Friday's second round at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational.

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Jordan Spieth, across three Ryder Cup appearances, is 7-2-2 as a fourballs and foursomes teammate. The U.S., without that mark over that stretch, is 12-22-3 in those formats. 

Or, in other words, Spieth has nothing to apologize for. And the Americans are, well, sorry. 

Which may beg the question from potential teammates (and countless other players) as the latest iteration of the team event kicks off next month at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin: 

Help, Jordan. What’s your tip to being a teammate?

Don’t be sorry. 

“Well, I think each format’s very different, foursomes versus fourball, but I would say for either one, my big thing is always no apologizing,” Spieth said this week at the World Golf Championships-FedEx St. Jude Invitational. “We all know what each other is capable of doing on that team, and you don’t have to feel insecure about a bad hole or a bad stretch of holes or something like that because as long as you don’t lose confidence, you can step up and hit that next shot without really caring what your teammate thinks about you and you’re just playing for yourself. I think that’s most important. 

“I’m always a big no-apologizing guy regardless of the situation. We’re the men in the arena out there’ we’re the ones going out there. It’s going to be something different than we’re used to playing our own ball regardless of the best ball. You’re going to have strategy, and it is a little bit different.

“That, I guess, would be the No. 1 thing is you’re kind of going out with a teammate, but you’re kind of sitting there going, ‘Don’t act like you have to do anything for me. Go out there and do exactly what you do for yourself.’”

Spieth, in his Ryder Cup debut, in 2014 at Gleneagles in Scotland, went 2-0 in fourballs and 0-0-1 in foursomes (he didn’t play in Friday foursomes). In 2016 at Hazeltine in Minnesota, he went 1-1 in fourballs and 1-0-1 in foursomes, and in 2018 at Le Golf National in France, Spieth went 1-1 in foursomes and 2-0 in fourballs. But had the 2020 Ryder Cup not been postponed to this year, he very well could have gone 0-0. 

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His struggles since 2017, when he won his last major, have been well dissected, but in short, he had dipped in the world rankings to around triple digits and likely would have been watching the event from home. But since the Waste Management Open in February? He’s finished no worse than a tie for 30th at this year’s four majors, which includes a runner-up finish at last month’s Open Championship. Spieth’s now 11th in the world, and seventh in the U.S. team standings, just outside of the six automatic picks. 

The break of the Ryder Cup being bumped back a year is not lost on him. 

“I wouldn’t have picked myself last year even though I think I could have helped the team,” said Spieth, who shot a seven-under 63 during Saturday’s third round of the St. Jude. “I always think that if I — like in 2018 when I was on that Ryder Cup team, I was not playing as well as some guys that weren’t on that team coming in, but went over there and just, you know, I just love that tournament, find a way to make it work and win some matches.

“I don’t think that I’ll necessarily have a different or more appreciation because I didn’t end up missing out and watching one. I did miss out and watch a Presidents Cup, but I didn’t do that with a Ryder Cup. I think I’m going to go in with the idea that this is where I belong, this is who I am and I’m supposed to come in and be a points leader for this team and that’s the goal I think everybody coming in should have for our team. So I really, I don’t see it as being an extra appreciation because I may have missed out last year; I think I kind of got lucky that I didn’t have to go through that this time around and hopefully not for a long time.”

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Nick Piastowski

Golf.com Editor