Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas have played countless rounds together, but only hardcore golf fans might be aware of one that took place in 2012, when both were college freshmen.
That year, Texas played Alabama in the match-play final of the NCAA Championship at Riviera, and Spieth and Thomas, two of the most decorated amateurs in the U.S. and friends even then, faced off on the iconic LA venue.
Spieth recently appeared on GOLF’s Subpar Podcast to discuss that match and more, and he referenced two shots in particular that helped him beat Thomas 3 and 2 (and led Texas to a 3-2 win and national title).
“One, No. 9, I got in trouble out there, I think I drove it in that cross bunker that you are just dead,” he said. “Had to lay it up, missed the green with the third, and I think he hit a couple decent shots, and I had about a 30-footer, broke about 10 feet left to right from the left fringe to a front pin, so I hooped it for par to stay I think 1 up on him.”
And the other key shot?
“I holed out for a 2 on No. 15 with a 4-iron,” Spieth said.
The latter, Spieth’s long-time caddie, Michael Greller, doesn’t let Thomas forget. Spieth says Greller, who caddied for him at the 2011 U.S. Junior Amateur as well as the 2012 U.S. Open when he played as an amateur, is a huge college golf fan, so he remembers that shot versus Thomas well. And he makes sure to remind Thomas when the PGA Tour returns to Riviera every year.
“Every time we get to 15 he FaceTimes Justin, no matter where we are,” Spieth said. “And Justin will keep answering it, cause he’s like, ‘I know you are there, and I don’t want to stop and just decline it and make it worse,’ so he answers it. [Michael] always just points to right where I holed the shot from.”
Spieth remembers the moment in a more subtle way. He has the scorecard framed at home.
You can watch the entire Subpar episode with Spieth below.