Jordan Spieth has never been afraid to express his displeasure on the golf course. Whether it’s toward his ball in the air, his lie, his swing, or often himself, the 22-year-old two-time major winner rarely holds back.
It shouldn’t be surprising, then, to hear him say he doesn’t think he would have handled the USGA’s penalty ruling on Dustin Johnson at the U.S. Open with the kind of aplomb we saw from DJ.
“I promise you, I would have thrown a fit,” Spieth said during a press conference Tuesday at Firestone Country Club. “I wouldn’t have hit another shot. I would have sat there like, ‘This is not the way this goes. Let’s figure this out right now.'”
Mike Davis, executive director of the USGA, admitted he would have preferred the penalty been adjudicated much faster, while also insisting the USGA got the ruling correct — something to which Spieth has already vociferously objected.
But more than just the way Johnson dealt with the ruling conversation itself and the bizarre situation on the 12th tee, Spieth says he was incredibly impressed with the way DJ played down the stretch en route to a U.S. Open win.
“I’m sitting there going, ‘What in the world is he hitting driver for?'” Spieth joked, referring to Johnson’s choice on the 17th hole.
“I’m like, ‘No, don’t hit driver. This is the only chance you have [to make birdie].’ Because he can fly those bunkers with 3-wood and still put it in a greenside bunker or chip it up. He didn’t care. He had his lines, he knew what he was doing, he had that little power cut working and he just stepped up and delivered the shots he needed, so I was very, very excited for Dustin.”
Spieth sent a text to Johnson, the man he beat at Chambers Bay last year thanks to a three-putt on the final hole from DJ. Johnson hadn’t even hit the final birdie putt to seal the deal yet when Spieth texted him.
“I won’t tell you what was in that text for a couple reasons, but, one, I shouldn’t say it, and two, it’s personal. But I thought it was extremely special given everything that’s been hanging over him. That wasn’t easy, and he stepped up.”