Sure, there’s the class. The made putts. The trophies. The constant praise of his team.
But my favorite thing about Jordan Spieth is his readiness to complain about some of his best work. And that’s why my favorite moment of 2015 is his hole-out eagle from the 17th fairway in the third round of the John Deere Classic.
I had the good fortune to walk with Spieth for four days at TPC Deere Run in July and will never forget his conversation with caddie Michael Greller in the trees left of the par-5 fairway. Spieth was seemingly blocked out with nothing to look at and fielding pleas from Greller to punch out sideways. Instead, he told Greller, "Trust me,” aimed through a gap in the trees that pointed him towards the 18th tee box, and laced a cut 5-iron 200 yards through the woods, over a bunker and back onto his own fairway.
Then, from 106, the real magic happened. As I wrote at the time:
He pulled a sand wedge – that he will tell you was “the wrong club” – made impact, mis-hit it, put too much spin on it, followed through with a displeased one-handed release, flew it about 10 feet past the pin, and …
… Made it.
Said Spieth after the round: “A shot that was mis-hit. Not extremely mis-hit. I pull off one-handed even if I don’t miss by a lot. I probably should watch out for that, because it looked bad, because the shot looked pretty good in the air.”
For the record, he’s still doing it, and it’s still great. This, from the Australian Open last month:
Long live salty Spieth.