I share some behind-the-scenes nuggets in the video above. I have more info and quotes on the topics I mentioned, but I’ll have to update this post with them later since I’m about to miss the last shuttle to the parking lot!
It was a productive day at East Lake, but for now, here’s a mini Q&A I did with Jordan Spieth (after
stalking running him down in the parking lot) — it’s hard to believe he just turned 20 the other month — it’s like he’s 20 going on 35.
[Update, Ed. Note: Phil Mickelson invited Spieth and Steve Stricker to play in his weekly practice round money game against him and Keegan Bradley. Well, Mickelson, who takes these matches very seriously, got cleaned out by Spieth and Stricker, who nearly didn’t play in the Tour Championship because it conflicted with a hunting trip he had planned with his buddies. Well, the semi-retired Stricker basically took down Phil and Keegan single-handedly, making seven birdies and an eagle for the win. (There were multiple bets/matches going on beyond the four-ball..)]
I heard you and Stricker took Keegan Bradley and Phil Mickelson to school today.
Jordan Spieth: Well, Strick really took them. It was fun, we had a really good time.
I know you played in a practice round with Stricker on Tuesday, too, so how did this match come about?
JS: Phil and I had talked about playing a practice round for a while and so he said, try to find someone on the team, why don’t you bring Strick, I think he’d do it and it might be a good match in case you guys are paired together in the Presidents Cup. I asked Steve and he was in and we made it work.
Were these pairings today a potential Presidents Cup preview?
JS: Yeah, I’ve wanted to play a practice round together for a while. I’m trying to learn a lot from him. He’s playing great golf right now. It’d be a great pairing and I think we’d really enjoy it, but either of us can play with anyone.
Is there anything specific you’ve learned from him?
JS: Yeah, he’s just very smart. I’m trying to be a little more methodical, like he is. I play really aggressive golf and you can’t really do that on a golf course like this, so I was trying to watch the different shots he was practicing and where he was hitting from — just like Phil and Keegan, all three of them (I was watching and learning from today).
Being the only rookie at the Tour Championship is pretty cool, especially since you started the season without any status. Would you have envisioned yourself in this position at this time last year?
JS: No, not at all. A year ago I was looking to possibly at some point make my way onto the PGA Tour next season. So the fact we’re here this year is a dream come true for me with everything that’s happened. I’ve just got to dig in now, I can let it sink in later this fall or winter, but right now, I need to stay focused on this week and the Presidents Cup.
Biggest piece of advice anyone has given you about the Presidents Cup?
JS: Oh, just have a great time. Phil was talking to me today about how you play so many more matches at (the Presidents Cup) compared to the Ryder Cup that you definitely want to get a couple of rounds in, but you also want to pace yourself because it’s a long week, a lot of matches, a lot of emotion that goes into it. Just pacing the amount of golf we play in preparation for it.
Stay tuned for more!