LOS ANGELES – For those watching closely on Sunday at Pebble Beach, Jordan Spieth almost appeared more excited for Kelly Kraft, who finished in second place and four strokes behind Spieth, than he was for himself.
“It was really awesome to see. I root hard for Kelly. He's one of the favorites on my PGA Tour app,” Spieth said.
Kraft lives in Dallas, has the same trainer as Spieth and the two play frequent practice rounds when they are at home, so it was a unique opportunity for them to go head-to-head on a Tour Sunday, even though they weren’t paired together.
“He was super pumped for me, he gave me a hug. He knew how important that week was for me,” Kraft said. “We play a lot in Dallas and to finish first and second at a place like Pebble is pretty special.”
The runner-up finish was also special for Kraft, who struggled last year on Tour and finished 165th on the FedEx Cup points list.
“Last year I didn’t get into anything in Florida playing out of the Web.com Tour category and now I’ll probably be in everything in Florida,” he said. “It’s nice to do this early and to set the tone in nice.”
Kraft, who said he plans to play every event in Florida, also earned a spot in this week’s Genesis Open with his top-10 showing at Pebble, which brings his starts to nine for the season, nearly half as many events as he played last season (20).