Jordan Spieth almost did the unthinkable Monday, finishing two strokes shy of his third consecutive major championship – and just one stroke shy of forcing a playoff with eventual winner Zach Johnson and others.
“I absolutely thought yesterday that we were watching a march into history except for . . . when he made double bogey at No. 8. It just made no sense,” Sirius XM PGA Tour Radio analyst Matt Adams said on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “First of all, he didn’t hit a good tee shot on the par 3. Then he blasted it right past the hole and right off the green and ended up with a double bogey. And at 18, the only thing I can figure is he was a little nervy on 18 because he pulled it way left. He was as far left as I saw any tee shot on 18 yesterday. He gave himself this really odd angle. It just wasn’t to be.
“So it was cool to watch (his pursuit),” Adams continued. “It was neat to be that close to history that would not have been repeated save for Ben Hogan in 1953 having won the first three majors of the calendar year. So yeah, all that was really cool. But in the same sense, I was kind of sad it didn’t happen.”
Still, Amy Lawrence was impressed with the grace and class Spieth showed in defeat, sticking around to watch the playoff and then being one of the first people to congratulate Johnson.
“Yeah, it was kind of funny because as Zach was playing 18, I was on the left side of the first tee – so I was in between the first tee and the 18th green calling our shots – and I look up over my left shoulder and sitting there was Jordan Spieth,” Adams recalled. “There were other players out there, too, but I saw Jordan out there. He came down and gave Zach a big hug. And as he was walking away, I went up to Jordan because we were still live at that point, and I said, ‘Hey, can I talk to you for a second?’”
Spieth said sure.
“I said, ‘You put up a courageous fight.’ I didn’t know how else to phrase it other than that,” Adams said. “I guess with him, even though he’s 21 years old, he just seems to carry himself with this certain grace about him. He’s got this dignity about it. Clearly he wasn’t measuring himself at that moment against what he didn’t accomplish. He was quite satisfied by what he did accomplish and the effort he put forth in this one as well – and rightfully so. With all the pressure that he was under and everything that was swirling around, to do what he did, but then to have the presence of mind, the human touch, to go out and congratulate Zach Johnson at that moment just illustrated the character of this kid. He’s a real special athlete. He’s really special for the game of golf. And I think we’re all fortunate – anybody that’s any kind of golf fan – that right now he’s involved and he’s doing what he’s doing.”