Jordan Spieth Will Play John Deere Classic Before British Open
DALLAS -- Longtime Jordan Spieth coach Cameron McCormick didn’t wait long to sound out the Spieth team theme late Monday afternoon, as the back-to-back major champion landed at home with little fanfare after completing the second leg of golf’s Grand Slam.
“Yesterday’s news,” McCormick said about the dramatic U.S. Open victory. “It’s all about Scotland now,” he said. “It’s just magnificent to be a part of it.”
Spieth, who is not playing this week at the Travelers Championship and is passing on next week at Greenbrier, plans two full weeks of practice with McCormick at Brook Hollow Golf Course in Dallas along with time spent with his family and golfing buddies in Dallas.
Spieth, 21, is grateful for the past achievement, but focused on future golfing conquests.
“It’s a day we will never forget,” Spieth said of his U.S. Open victory, which was witnessed by his mother and father and other brother Steven, who is working in Dallas for the summer, after he finished his sophomore year at Brown University.
High on his list of Dallas priorities this week is to reunite with his special-needs sister Ellie, who missed the Open because she was at home, staying with an aunt while attending local summer school.
Spieth took her to a local toy store after his Masters victory and let her feel the green jacket given to all winners. He returns this week with another present for her to see and a souvenir from Chambers Bay, his regular pattern when he travels.
Spieth will return to the PGA Tour’s John Deere Classic in three weeks, the site of his first PGA Tour victory in 2013, before taking a charter flight to Edinburgh, Scotland for the Open Championship at St. Andrews.
That’s exactly the same pattern he followed in 2011 when he was part of the U.S. Walker Cup team, heading directly from the Edinburgh Airport to the Old Course for golf. It was Spieth’s first visit to the Home of Golf and a trip American captain Jim Holtgrieve remembers well.
"The guys were all wide-eyed and fired up about playing a course they had heard about all of their lives," Holtgrieve said.
"What blew me away about Jordan and Patrick Rodgers is they took notes and carried a yardage book. I’m sure he (Spieth) still has that today and has already looked at it."
Spieth certainly learned those lessons well, as he stood 5-under-par on the 12th hole at The Old Course under sunny skies and calm winds, according to Holtgrieve assistant Robbie Zalzneck
"He played great there," Zalzneck said.
All 12 members of the U.S. team played the 18th hole together where they were greeted by R&A Chief Executive Peter Dawson, who gave them a tour of the R&A Clubhouse.
Afterwards they adjoined to the nearby Dunvegan Inn, where Holtgrieve has another strong Spieth memory.
“I know we wouldn’t let him have a beer because he had just turned 18. So he had something else while others had a beer. We sat on the patio and took a team picture of the Dunvegan which is still on the ceiling there.”
While Spieth preferred to focus on the Open Championship next month, his friends in Dallas still wanted to celebrate his most recent golfing accomplishment.
“It’s hard not to be a little emotional right now,” said Rob Addington, the Executive Director of the Texas Golf Association, who was at Chambers Bay Tuesday through Friday and returned home to watch the final rounds on TV. He introduced Spieth to McCormick, several years ago and later hired Spieth’s longtime girlfriend, Anne Verret, to work at the First Tee of Dallas program.
Dallas’ iconic Reunion Tower spelled out the name J-O-R-D-A-N with an exclamation point in huge lights late Sunday and Monday night to celebrate the win.
While no one had ever won back-to-back majors at age 21 before Spieth, the last player to win three majors in a row was another Texan, Ben Hogan, who captured the Open at nearby Carnoustie in 1953.
“I absolutely believe he has a legitimate chance to win the Open,” said Holtgrieve, the last person to witness a Spieth round at St. Andrews. “I believe in my heart he will handle the media pressure and do well.”
With Spieth, his family and what he calls his secret winning formula headed overseas, another Texas-sized party could be brewing soon.