Jordan Spieth received some clarity regarding a putting question on Saturday, but there’s still more work to be done.
Spieth told the Golf Channel that when the greens get “shiny” his putter sometimes slips on the ground, so when he practices he wets the bottom of the club. He either dampens a towel or licks his thumb and then rubs the putter, both of which add the traction he’s looking for.
The 22-year-old Texan has been trying to get clarification to see if his move is legal or not. He said he has “stumped” everyone he’s asked.
“I’ve spoken to commentators, players and nobody knew the answer if you can do it,” said Spieth from the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral on Saturday. “I didn’t know if it was legal so I’ve never done it on the golf course (during a tournament round), so I asked an official once I knew the course was like that (Saturday).”
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Spieth told a rules official at Doral that he does it during practice rounds “to make it easier to set the putter down.” The official came back to Spieth later in the round with his findings.
“It was a split on the decision,” Spieth said. “So they called the (USGA) and he said that the USGA was going to talk about it further but for now we’re going to rule that you cannot do it.”
Spieth said the official told him he can use the towel to clean his club because if the towel is wet it’s not a violation, but he said he should stay away from licking his thumb and then rubbing the putter.
Spieth shot a 1-over 73 Saturday and starts Sunday 10 shots behind leader Rory McIlroy.