DALLAS — Masters champion Jordan Spieth returned home this week after a two-week victory tour up and down the East Coast, to emotional reunions with his family and longtime coach, Cameron McCormick. He also will receive a warm welcome from Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who on Sunday will present Spieth with a Mavs jersey during Game 4 of the team’s playoff series with the Houston Rockets.
The golf highlight undoubtedly was a Thursday afternoon money match at the private Brook Hollow Golf Club, featuring Spieth and his fellow North Texas professionals, Charlie Holland, Kelly Kraft and Alex Moon, who is also Spieth’s roommate. Brook Hollow member Cody Gribble, who plays on the Web.com tour and recently was awarded a sponsor’s exemption to the PGA Tour’s Byron Nelson Championship, rounded out the fivesome.
The group convened to celebrate the 29th birthday of Holland, who plays with Moon on the PGA Tour Latinoamérica. The friendly outing quickly turned into a freewheeling shootout.
On the slightly soggy A.W. Tillinghast layout near downtown Dallas, Moon set the tone, stuffing his second shot to six feet on the par-5 opener for an easy eagle. Kraft, a former U.S. Amateur champion who recently won the Web.com Chitimacha Louisiana Open, was up next, ripping a 5-iron from 200 yards. When the shot found the bottom of the cup, Kraft found himself in an unlikely position: 3-under after one hole.
“It was a fun day and a fun round of golf,” Kraft told GOLF.com. ”Just a friendly game for one of our friend’s birthdays.”
Unlike Ben Hogan and Ken Venturi’s fabled “Match” from another era, which lived on mostly through legend, Spieth and Moon rushed to social media to document the incredible start to their competition.
“Just lost the first hole at Brook Hollow with an eagle,” Moon posted to his Twitter account.
Spieth posted a picture to Instagram showing Kraft picking the ball out of the hole on No. 1 with Moon in the background, with the hashtag #gettingpaid.
Asked how much he banked from Spieth, who last week bragged about how much money he had won playing golf with Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, Kraft laughed. “No comment,” he said.
That was only the beginning of the sensational shotmaking from the World No. 2 and his pals. After the first hole, the fivesome combined for three more eagles and countless birdies, according to a long-time Brook Hollow member who was on hand.
“It took birdies to win most holes and there were a lot of ties with birdies,” he said. “I’m glad they didn’t ask me to play.”
Kraft fired the day’s low score, a 62. The other scores were unavailable.
An emotional highlight of Spieth’s homecoming came earlier in the week, when Spieth returned to his boyhood home for the first time since his historic win and spent time with his younger sister Ellie, who has special needs. Spieth invited Ellie to slip on the green jacket.
“It was great for the whole family to each try on the green jacket and each share a special moment with him,” said Jordan’s father, Shawn. “Ellie was the most happy that Jordan won, which meant she could go to the toy store with him.”
After more practice this weekend with McCormick at Brook Hollow, Spieth will depart Dallas early next week to reconnect with his West Coast caddie Michael Greller and play in the WGC-Cadillac Match Play at Harding Park in San Francisco. He is also committed to the Players Championship a week later at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra, Fla.