The new normal that golfers find themselves living and playing in creates a few different scenarios that otherwise would be cut and dry.
Do you get free relief from that footprint in the bunker? Can I use the course’s restroom? Would that ball have gone in under normal circumstances?
This week at the Maridoe Samaritan Fund Invitational, Jordan Spieth encountered the last of those questions while playing as a non-competing marker in the charity event held in Carrollton, Texas. Spieth was originally planning to compete in the tournament proper, but a Tuesday PGA Tour Players Advisory Council meeting interrupted those plans.
Playing alongside his friend Tony Romo, Speith flagged his tee shot on the 110-yard par-3 17th hole at Maridoe Golf Club. What happened next is a sentence you probably never envisioned reading a few weeks ago: Spieth’s ball flew into the cup only to bounce out after hitting a plastic social-distancing spacer inside the hole.
Speith with an Ace or Double Bogey on 17? It sunk in the hole, bounced out (we believe 100% because of the spacer – see scuff marks on new ball) and rolled back in the water. Romo decided it could be counted as a hole in one, except for their bet. pic.twitter.com/NTHzWnXWlt
— Ryan Frazer (@AgoraGolf) April 30, 2020
Spieth’s ball ricocheted out of the cup and into a penalty area leading to quite the conundrum.
“We were playing a little two-on-two match and my partner was already on the green, about 12 feet, so I said, ‘I may as well go right at it, right?'” Spieth told GolfChannel.com. “It never left the stick and I knew it was going to land somewhere around the hole and sure enough it landed in the hole.”
The call on his score for the hole depends on who you ask. His opponents, which included Romo, agreed he’d have to write a double-bogey 5 on the card after he finished the hole out from the hazard.
Spieth, however, is adding the shot to his ace tally.
“I’m going to count it,” said Spieth. “It was one of those ones where it would most likely have stayed in. I’ve been shut out for a while (four years), so hopefully, this is a good omen.
“It was really fun to be out here playing in something competitive. I was bummed to have missed the last couple of days, but being out here today it’s very easy to see that we’re able to do this in a social-distancing kind of way and most importantly be able to raise money for the caddies out here so that they can get through these tough times until we can get back to normal. We had fun in the same process of being able to kind of help out, and all in all that’s a win-win for all.
“I was pumped to be out here today. I really hope we’re able to do something like this maybe next month, too, as we start to gear up for the season.”
Jordan Spieth putting spacer back in place after hitting it on the fly with his tee ball. “May as well count it, why not?” pic.twitter.com/blL1oeqIkv
— Brentley Romine (@BrentleyGC) April 30, 2020
So, what’s the verdict: Ace or double? It depends on who you are, but Spieth did his best to bribe those in attendance.
“In a 6-feet-apart way, drinks are on me,” he said.