Without question, Jordan Spieth is one of the most entertaining players on tour, and that hasn’t changed this week at The Players Championship.
Sawgrass has its own unique charm. The difficulty of the course, the infamous par-3 17th and the added bite of the subject of missing LIV players has drawn more attention to this years ‘fifth major’ than usual.
Whatever happens, though, the 29-year-old Texan seems to always grab a headline or two.
A year ago, Spieth attempted and succeeded one of the most intrepid shots of all time, and he was back in the news at the Ponte Vedra coutse this week.
As Spieth made his way down the stretch on Friday, he was at 2over the card, right on the cut-line but with his last hole of the round to come, the par-5 ninth.
As would be, his tee-shot looked to be fading right and into the water before ricocheting off a spectator’s knee and into the fairway. Of course, in typical style, Jordan then made an up-and-down from 272 yards to record an eagle and walk off at level-par, easily making the weekend.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 10, 2023
We’ve all seen golfers strike one into the crowd and offer a signed glove as compensation, but Spieth knew that magnitude of the ‘kick-in’.
“Trying to get that guy’s information and see literally whatever he wants this weekend,” he said, “because everything from here on out is because it hit him.”
As it transpired, the lucky fan is Lt. Col. Matt Cutler, an experienced Marine from Colorado Springs, who was then offered tickets to the weekend and a signed flag.
Jordan Spieth gifted the fan and his friends tickets for the weekend, plus a signed flag.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 11, 2023
Although Spieth believed that he would have made the cut – it ended up moving to 3-over – he admits, “It’s still two shots that it saved me at least.”
Whilst Hunter Mahan felt the gift should have been of considerably higher value, asking, “IS THAT IT?” Spieth was at pains to point out the fan’s modesty when spotting him in the crowd during the third round.
“He’s over there right now,” Spieth said on Saturday. “He’s an active Marine. His name is Matt. I spent a little time with him yesterday. He didn’t want anything, but I thought if I could do anything for him I’d try to and the tour stepped in and hooked him up, too. So hopefully he’s having a good weekend. And his knee, I mean, once I found out he was an active Marine, I don’t really think getting hit in the knee really does much to those guys.”
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