How Jordan Spieth’s bachelor party led to Justin Thomas’ ‘most impressive’ win

Justin Thomas Jordan Spieth

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth during the 2023 Ryder Cup in Italy.

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There’s a uniquely brutal struggle that takes place the week after a bachelor or bachelorette party, when the real world comes calling again after a weekend of, well, all sorts of things. But most of us don’t have to turn around after a bachelor party and hit golf shots on the PGA Tour. 

This makes bachelor party planning for professional golfers rather important. Should they hold one on a weekend? Should they go for Tuesday? Well, back in August 2018, Jordan Spieth planned his bachelor party squarely between that summer’s Open Championship and PGA Championship, ahead of a November wedding. Seemed safe enough. And it sort of was, now that we’re talking about it in a positive way six years later.

The reason Spieth’s bachelor party is a topic of conversation in 2024 is all thanks to Smylie Kaufman, broadcast and podcast host extraordinaire. Kaufman recently sat down with his pal, Justin Thomas, for an episode of Kaufman’s podcast, The Smylie Show

While plenty of Smylie’s episodes are filmed remotely, this one he happened to be in Florida for, recording from the comforts of Thomas’ trophy room in Jupiter. The trophy room of a 15-time Tour winner, multiple-time Ryder Cupper, as well as an Olympian, turns out to be a pretty impressive room. (I’ve seen it myself, reporting on a magazine story on Thomas.) But more than anything, it’s an easy place to inspire memories, and Kaufman wanted to dive into one such tale during his recent visit. 

“Your most impressive win, how would you answer that,” Kaufman asked, looking around at all the tokens of accomplishment. Thomas didn’t take long to think about it. 

“Akron,” he said immediately. “It’s not even close.”

“Thank you,” Kaufman said. He knew. “I was gonna make sure that that was going to be the answer. Akron.”

“Akron, after — it was the WGC … It was right after Jordan’s bachelor party,” Thomas said. Kaufman was clearly in attendance as well.

“I’m gonna be honest, I didn’t have business winning a golf tournament — I didn’t have business playing in a golf tournament that weekend. Let alone—”

“I wasn’t good until Friday,” Kaufman said, laughing. “I don’t know how you teed it up.” 

“I don’t mean to pick on you but that doesn’t surprise me, Smylie,” Thomas said. “I remember I got home, contacted a doctor and I’m like ‘I just had a rather large trip.’ I need something. Give me — can I get an IV, can I get whatever. Go in, get an IV, they’re looking for a vein and they’re like, ‘We can’t give you an IV, you’re too dehydrated.’ I’m like ‘I’m well aware, that’s why I’m in here. I’m in here to get rehydrated.

“That was a tough, tough scene. That was a very humbling experience. I’m not proud of it but I am proud of that victory.”

Kaufman then interjected to remind Thomas he won going away. JT shot 65 in the opening round and followed it with a 64 on Friday. On the weekend, he waltzed around Firestone Country club to scores of 67 and 69, winning by four. The bachelor himself, Spieth, lost to Thomas by 20 shots that week.

“It was some of the best golf I’ve played, yeah. It was arguably the most control I’ve had, tee to green, especially at a golf course that you know, in Akron, where it is not friendly at times.”

A quick look at the stats backs up Thomas’ claim there. He hit a pretty average 59% of fairways that week but 75% of the greens. He gained about one stroke on the field average putting each day, which just meant he was consistently hitting targets and rolling in putts. That’s the kind of golf these guys want to play.

“It was, like you said, a no-brainer,” Thomas said to put a bow on it. “The most impressive win that can’t be repeated.”

“It’s probably a lot more difficult to do that at the age of 30 so we’ll just keep that in our past and we’ll keep hydrating before big events,” Kaufman added. Sounds like a good strategy, boys. 

You can check out the most recent episode of The Smylie Show below.

Sean Zak Editor

Zak is a writer at GOLF Magazine and just finished a book about the summer he spent in St. Andrews.

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