THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – By this point, the Jordan Spieth story is the stuff of legend.
You know the details: Ultra-talented teen flamed out in the second stage of Q-School last year, entered this year without status on any sanctioned tour, earned temporary membership, won a tournament, made the Presidents Cup team and was named PGA Tour rookie of the year.
Here’s what you didn’t know: None of those results from 2013 – not the runner-up finish in Puerto Rico or the John Deere Classic victory or the playoff loss in Greensboro – featured a better ball-striking week than the one which led him to this scenario in the first place.
“Second stage I hit the ball better that week than I did any week this year,” he said in advance of this week’s Northwestern World Challenge, where he’ll compete in an elite 18-man field that features no players ranked outside the top 30.
That’s a pretty telling comment considering he ranked eighth in total driving and 37th in greens in regulation during the 2013 campaign.
“I just didn't make anything,” he continued. “It was one of those weeks where I had a lot of lipouts. So I knew I was striking the ball well enough. Yeah, it was tough because final stage at the time I could either get a Tour card or worse case, if I hit the ball the way I was hitting it at the time, if I wasn't putting well, I'd still probably get Web.com status, which is what I was looking forward to trying to get.
“But, yeah, it was difficult watching Q-school and watching those guys that I had just played against a couple weeks prior. All in all, that's what happened. That was part of the risk and I knew it, so I needed to suck it up.”
The rest, as they say, is history.