Jordan Spieth isn’t hurting for endorsement deals, but if the last two major championships have been any indication, the USGA could do a lot worse than to employ Spieth as their official rules spokesperson.
The newly- minted three-time major champion showed an affinity for using the rules to his advantage during his crazy 13th-hole drop last month at Royal Birkdale and on Friday at the PGA Championship, Spieth again weighed all of his options to make the best of a bad situation. Spieth was able to turn what could have been a tough shot from piles of pine straw into a pretty bare lie so that he could get his club onto the back of the ball with little to no resistance.
— Golf Central (@GolfCentral) August 12, 2017
On the par-5 10th hole, Spieth drove his tee shot right of the fairway and onto a cart path that cuts through the pines. Spieth knew he would receive a free drop, and the nearest point of relief would leave his ball on a patch of straw. Spieth remembered that pine needles are considered loose impediments, which under the rules can be removed before taking a drop.
“How can I make a mistake here? What can’t I do?” Spieth said to an official on the scene.
“What you can’t do is move anything that’s growing or fixed,” said the ref.
Soon, Spieth was scraping away handfuls of straw like a Labrador clearing a spot for a nap. Ultimately, when Spieth’s two attempted drops rolled back onto the concrete, he was allowed to place his Titleist onto a patch of dirt he had neatly groomed. Spieth made perfect contact with his ensuing punch shot – too perfect – and it sailed through the fairway into the trees again.
Spieth would eventually make bogey on the 10th and shoot a second-round 2-over par 73 to sit in tie for 46th place heading into the weekend. At 11 shots back of co-leaders Hideki Matsuyama and Kevin Kisner, it appears as if Spieth’s bid for the career grand slam will have to wait another year.
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