WATCH: Jordan Spieth avoids diving off 70-foot cliff (!) on daredevil shot
About 10 or so yards left of Jordan Spieth’s ball, in 16 white letters across a green background, the sign warned him.
Danger, the first line read. Steep, it said below that. Cliff, it advised at the end.
Danger Steep Cliff. To which Spieth said, danger be damned.
In one of the more daredevilish plays you’ll ever see, from a player who has a knack for that sort of thing, Spieth hit his second shot on Saturday on the par-4 8th at Pebble Beach. With his right foot a yard from a cliff. And his left foot sloping down into it. And a some 70-foot drop into the Pacific Ocean below him.
Nevermind, that he ended up hitting it just over the green during Saturday’s third round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Or that he even hit it all.
The man is alive.
“That is one that he will remember for a long while,” analyst Ian Baker-Finch said on the CBS broadcast.
Indeed. The sequence started after Spieth hit his tee shot, his ball kicked right off the fairway, and it settled no more than a foot from the edge of the cliff.
“Are you going to go for that? No way you’d stand there and play that,” analyst Nick Faldo said on the broadcast. “Oh my goodness.”
“Let’s hope he’s not suffering from vertigo or anything when he gets close to that cliff,” Baker-Finch said.
Of course, if any player would even think about the shot, let alone hit it, it’s Spieth. Immediately, his shot during the first day of last year’s Ryder Cup comes to mind. Then, Spieth, his ball on the side of a steep cliff to the left of the 17th green at Whistling Straits, hit, his ball went up, and he took off running down, and nearly into Lake Michigan below.
Back to Saturday. According to a CBS graphic, Spieth’s ball was above a 68-foot drop into the Pacific Ocean below. After walking up to it, Spieth checked his yardage and talked with his caddie, Michael Greller.
“I mean, guys, this is a scary shot normally, but this is downright terrifying,” analyst Colt Knost said on the broadcast.
“I don’t think I could do that,” Faldo said.
“I went over and took a stance, and it is — yeah, it’s scary,” Knost said.
A drop was certainly an option — his ball had also crossed a red line that marks a penalty area, and it would have cost him a stroke. Instead, his play went like this: He took a stance, backed away, walked back, set up with his legs wider than normal to balance himself, took one half-swing and stood over it for 8 seconds.
He finished with a baseball-like uppercut, then almost immediately took eight fast steps backward. The shot, from 162 yards out, finished on line with the flag, but over the green.
“He survived,” Baker-Finch said on the broadcast.
“He is alive,” Faldo said.
“Take a deep breath,” Baker-Finch.
From there, Spieth chipped on, his ball trickled past the hole, and he rolled in a 10-footer for par.
As we all know, a near-death shot is nothing with a bogey.
“That was amazing,” Baker-Finch said.