Jordan Spieth had just won the Voyageurs Championship with a spectacular birdie hole from a bunker on the green in a sudden death playoff against Daniel Berger. Minutes later, Spieth’s younger brother, Michael Greller, was searching for the rake he sent skyward when the shot entered and he and his boss embarked on a savage celebration that included the equivalent of the golf to a bat throw from Spieth and a chest bump in between.
Greller finally found the rake, and he was keeping it. Then the moment hit him.
“Oooh, that’s going to count for double actually,” Greller said of the sandblast. “I think that’s 12 or 13 for this year.”
Every year that they are together, the duo makes a bet. Greller sets the number of times Spieth must go off the green. If Spieth exceeds the total, Greller is hooked for dinner, and Spieth can invite anyone he wants to join them.
A few years ago in San Diego, the tab was for about 20 people. At last year’s Australian Open, it was Spieth who had to pay, at Café Sydney, a seafood restaurant tucked away atop Customs House with stunning harbor views and an expansive menu. wines.
This year’s number? Spieth should arrive at 19.
“I think I’m struggling this year,” Greller said. “Which is a good thing.”
Speaking of good things, Spieth is often criticized for not having the best swing or being among the best ball forwards in the game. On Sunday he certainly did not put in his best performance in this area, the 23-year-old. reaching 66% of its greens.
But to suggest that he struggles with his irons would be a little misguided. This year’s figures suggest otherwise. Spieth leads the PGA Tour in winning strokes / approaching the green and is fifth in greens in regulation. He’s also 13th in approaches from 125-150 yards, second at 150-175 yards and seventh at 175-200.
“He’s been hitting the ball well all year,” said Greller. “If you listen to the story, he’s not a good ball forward, that’s what people would have you believe. When the putts fall and it matches you’re going to have weeks like this. “
A year ago, Jon Rahm made his professional debut at Quicken Loans National, starting with a 64 and eventually tied for third (earning him a place in the Open Championship). It turns out that was a sign of things to come. Three starts later, he finished second in Canada, and last January he won at Torrey Pines in his 12th career start on the PGA Tour. He’s also added a handful of top five since.
This year, however, Rahm is not playing in Maryland but just outside of Paris at Golf National, site of the French Open HNA, one of the new Rolex Series events of the European Tour. It’s the first of a handful of starts across the Atlantic for the world No.11 who will play next week at the Irish Open (another Rolex event) and is on the pitch at the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale.
“I think it’s a good thing it does for the European Tour,” Rahm said of the Rolex Series, a collection of eight tournaments each with a purse of at least $ 7 million. “I want to show as much support as I can, and I’ll try to play as much as I can. Obviously I can’t play them all, but I’ll try.
Much like the new 1 in 4 rule of the PGA Tour requiring players with less than 25 starts to add a new tournament that they had not played in the previous four years, the creation of the Rolex Series by the Euro Tour seems to be paying off. The strength of the pitch projections for the next two weeks, plus the Scottish Open in three weeks, far exceeds that of the next three stops on the PGA Tour (Quicken Loans, The Greenbrier and the John Deere Classic).
By the way, Le Golf National, a course Rahm played in 2009 as a young amateur, is also the site of next year’s Ryder Cup.
Being a winner on the PGA Tour doesn’t always equate to instant fame. Last year Billy Hurley III won the National Quicken Loans not far from where he was educated at Naval Academy and near his hometown in suburban Virginia. On a recent trip back to school, there was a parking space with Hurley’s name on it. The only problem? Someone was parked there.
“I don’t know what to tell you,” he spat. “You would think that at the Naval Academy they would follow rules.”
Likewise, he was at a local cafe and was wearing a Masters shirt. Someone asked him if he was there, or if he just received it as a gift.
“I really enjoy these interactions,” he said. “I would like to have the means and the time to take them to the next level.
“Hey, I’m not, you know, Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler. I’m not in the top 10 in the world as really, really recognizable players, and that’s fine with me. I guess it’s humiliating. I walked into a cafe the day after my win and walked past two of these guys talking about my win and stuff like that. I like that, it’s a bit humorous for me.
Sunday night I wrote that Spieth had that “it” factor. Want more proof? CBS’s overnight score of 2.7 for Sunday’s final round of the Travelers’ Championship was the second-best Sunday score on all networks so far this season. …
Many people have pointed out that the US Open’s winning score was 16 under on a 7,740-yard course versus 12 under on the 6,840-yard track for last week’s Voyageur Championship. It lacks the essential a bit. The numbers that matter were 272 at Erin Hills (Brooks Koepka’s final score) versus 268 at TPC River Highlands (Spieth’s winning total). …
It’s been a pretty good weekend for Cameron McCormick. He coaches Jordan Spieth and So Yeon Ryu, whose victory on Sunday on the LPGA Tour catapulted her to world No. 1 in women’s golf.
This year, the Quicken Loans National moves to TPC Potomac at Avenel Farms, where the tour has not been held since 2006 (and 1987-2004 before that) following a major facelift of the property. Although Tiger Woods’ name is attached to the event, the field is a bit depleted for various reasons (the date being one) with only three of the top 20 in the world and five of the top 30. Translation: The door is open for someone else to win. Two names to watch out for: David Lingmerth (below), who won the Web.com Tour there in 2012 and has finished four in a row in the top 26, and Brendan Steele, a good driver and ball forward who has scored three top-15s in his last four starts.