Jordan Spieth’s come-from-behind victory at the 2017 Open Championship was one of the most incredible finishes to a major championship that we’ve seen in a while.
It seemed like each hole that Sunday afternoon offered a different piece of history to harken back to, but if there was one phrase that rose to prominence following the week at Royal Birkdale, it was Speith’s “go get that” command to his caddie, Michael Greller, after holing an unlikely eagle putt on the 15th green.
The Associated Press’ Doug Ferguson caught up with Spieth for a year-end interview that included the back story to the famous phrase.
With three words, Jordan Spieth delivered a British Open moment as memorable as the 50-foot eagle putt that prompted his famous line.
”Go get that.”
He was telling Michael Greller to get his ball from the cup as Spieth stood to the side of the 15th green, still soaking up the significance of such a long eagle putt that restored his lead with three holes to play.
And there’s a story behind it.
The reaction, while entirely spontaneous, might not have happened except for Spieth being in the makeshift gym all week at Royal Birkdale.
”I had been watching replays of the Open in the gym,” Spieth said. ”There was a TV in there, and they were playing old Opens. For whatever reason, it intrigued me earlier in the week that the guys, when they made putts, they never went and picked their ball out of the hole. The caddie went and got it on long putts. And I guess that stuck in my head: ‘You don’t have to pick the ball out of the hole. Michael can go get it.”’
There was more to the moment, of course.
Two holes earlier, Spieth missed the 13th fairway so far to the right that it hit a spectator in the head and caromed into the dunes. When he found it, he realized the driving range was not out of bounds, took a drop, had to take relief from the equipment truck and sent Greller toward the green to scout out the shot. The whole process took some 20 minutes as Matt Kuchar waited at the green.
On the 15th hole, he was in a bunker in two and blasted out to about 6 feet, and then Spieth made his 50-foot eagle putt.
”Michael, when I looked over, he’s laughing,” Spieth said. ”For whatever reason, I didn’t want to walk all the way up there. It was pretty far away. He started to walk toward the bag, but I was already walking toward the bag and I was really intense at that point. ‘Michael, go get that!’
”It was half being serious, like: ‘Go get it quickly because Kuch still needs to putt and we don’t need to drag this on. I’ve already been in his way too much the last couple of holes. Let’s not do that anymore.’ And it was half intense – ‘Pick that ball out of the hole.”’
Either way, Greller went and got it. Spieth added two birdies and his name was etched into the silver claret jug.
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