Jordan Spieth hits miracle flop, wins match — then swears in TV interview
Jordan Spieth looked down. He shook his head. He pulled his hat off. As he walked closer to Mackenzie Hughes, he shook his head again.
Spieth knew what he had done. And then he put it into words.
“I told Mack it was kind of some bulls**t,” Spieth told Golf Channel on-course reporter John Wood.
Whoa now. A couple things here. Yes, you are OK to be a little startled over Spieth’s French there. It’s not as if we can’t take a swear or two. But Spieth is as squeaky clean as they come, at least publicly. And this was no darn or even damn.
But yes, it was also kind of some B.S.
In the end, Spieth defeated Hughes 4 and 3 on Wednesday during opening-day play at the WGC-Match Play event — after a flop shot that apexed at about 30 feet, traveled about double that distance and dropped. This was Spieth-magic at its most Spieth-magic-iest
“He does it from places nobody else ever visits,” analyst Brad Faxon said on Golf Channel.
Indeed. On Wednesday, Spieth had started well at Austin Country Club, miles from where he played his college golf, at the University of Texas. He was 2-up through nine. He was 3-up after 11. A wayward tee shot on 12 dropped the advantage back down to 2-up. Then Spieth eagled the 309-yard, par-4 13th after hitting his drive to 8 feet. He won the 14th hole. And on 15, he was just outside of one of the left greenside bunkers after his second stroke.
There, Spieth’s ball was on an upslope.
It was in thick rough.
His left foot was well above his right.
His ball went in. Hughes had gone a more conventional route on the hole — drive just in the left rough, iron to 14 feet — but Spieth’s hole-out finished things.
“Yeah, I got in the bunker and told Michael [Greller, Spieth’s caddie] 10 feet left was the best option and then I got down there and I’m like, well, I’m dormie [and] I may as well go ahead and play a higher fuller one and try and get it close,” Spieth said on Golf Channel of his final shot.
“And I told Mack it was kind of some bulls**t. So I kind of apologized there for the way that it ended, but it was nice that it went in with the right speed so maybe it would have tied the hole.”
All of it continues a good run of late for Spieth, albeit one with near-misses. On Super Bowl Sunday, he tied for sixth at the WM Phoenix Open. In early March, he tied for fourth at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. At last week’s Valspar Championship, he was tied for the lead with three holes to go — then dumped a tee shot in the water on that third–to-last hole. There’s been some inconsistency, too. At the WM, putting doomed him (he was 51st in Strokes Gained: Putting, at -1.626); at the Valspar, it was driving (he was 68th in SG: Off the Tee in the final round, at -1.363.)
Still, he’s upbeat. You don’t drop a swear on live TV if you’re not. In his press conference afterward, a reporter noted it looked like Spieth was having fun, too — and asked if it were a byproduct of form.
Sort of, Spieth said.
And it may help explain that B.S. hole-out.
“I think going out feeling like you don’t have to go do anything special,” Spieth said, “instead just go play golf, frees you up a little, that maybe kind of helps a couple of those swings you see a little better or you see a positive outcome versus avoiding a negative one, stuff like that, if you’re in the right frame of mind.
“Yeah, I’ve been trying to work on just kind of hitting and playing and not talking so much. I did an OK job of that. I would say I didn’t do a great job of that on my last hole. I was like, what am I doing hitting it over here, and then I ended up holing the shot. It doesn’t necessarily affect how I play, but it is a lot less energy used up, it feels like, over the last couple weeks.”
Asked a reporter: “You mean that isn’t how you drew it up?”
“Not exactly on that hole,” Spieth said.