It was a happy Easter for Jordan Spieth (Titleist Pro V1x) and my mother-in-law Louise Lloyd, who is a huge golf fan.
Louise turns 94th birthday this week, but my wife, Jane, her brothers, their spouses and grandchildren decided to give her a birthday party on Easter.
Jane asked me to sign a card we were giving to Louise and I decided to put a golf spin on it. This is what I wrote: “Enjoy every day like it’s The Masters and you are wearing the green jacket. Love, Perry, Jane and Jordan Spieth.”
I wrote that around noonish, well before Jordan began his final round of the RBC Heritage Classic. He was in the sixth-last pairing, a few shots off the lead of Harold Varner III (Titleist Pro V1x), whom I had picked as one of the two players in the PG Golf pool. I also chose Cameron Smith (Titleist Pro V1x), figuring aside from one bad hole in the final round of the Masters, he had played well overall, tying for third. Unfortunately for me, he missed the RBC Heritage cut by one measly stroke.
Sir Nick Faldo was asked on the broadcast of the RBC Heritage how he did in it after winning the Masters, which he did three times. He suggested it wasn’t good.
Dang. That’s good information.
As an aside, my niece, Katharine, works for RBC, so I decided to sprinkle that liberally in this blog. She’s not much of a golf fan, but I was giving her some key bullet points to say on Monday to impress her higher-ups. We were watching the tournament and when Shane Lowry (Srixon Z-Star XV) hit an iron shot into the water on the 14th hole, I said “he hit his ball in the drink.” I’m not sure if that expression has been used before, but I say that every time a ball lands in the water. The big Irishman has had some tough luck this year closing out, posting a second and two thirds in only nine tournaments.
But back to Jordan and Louise. She has always liked Jordan, not only for the way he plays, but the way he conducts himself on the course. When he’s playing poorly, he shows it, often berating himself, especially blowing short putts. But he has always been solid making bunker shots, which helped to beat Patrick Cantlay (Titleist Pro V1x) on the first playoff hole. Jordan sublimely hit his ball out of the bunker and it landed a few inches from the hole for an easy bar. Cantlay’s ball was plugged in the same bunker and he had a much more difficult shot than Jordan. The ball flew out of the bunker and landed 35 feet past the flag, leaving him with a low-percentage chance for par, which he could not convert.
Before he went on to the course for the playoff, Jordan talked to a bunch of youngsters. I don’t know what he said, but it was a kind gesture.
When Spieth was presented with the tartan jacket awarded to the winner, he was introduced as Justin Spieth. The crowd, which was young and you could tell by their voices, shouted, “Jordan, Jordan, Jordan.”
Look, Spieth was on a trajectory to be the next Tiger Woods, when he won the Masters seven years ago. He went into a winless tailspin for almost four years before prevailing in the Valero Texas Open last year on Easter. He was told after the win that next year Easter falls on the final day of the Masters, a tournament he won in 2015 at age 21. Could three times be the charm? With all the legalized betting now, you know some people will be doing some future wagering on that.
Spieth is from Texas, which has produced the latest superstar, Scottie Scheffler (Titleist Pro V1), who looks about as grounded as you can be for someone who is on a serious heater with four wins in his last six tournaments, including the Masters. He is only 25.
Jordan is only 28. He married longtime girlfriend Annie Verret in 2018 and last year they celebrated the birth of their first child, a boy they named Sammy.
Jordan didn’t make the cut in this year’s Masters, but he shook off the disappointment winning the RBC Heritage.
Was it a coincidence that I wrote Jordan Spieth on my mother-in-law’s birthday card? Absolutely. Then again, the golfing gods write their own scripts and maybe this was meant to be.
I watch the Masters every year with Louise. On Sundays, she is always parked in front of her TV watching the PGA tournaments.
A couple years ago, her husband, Don, passed away. He was part of our Masters tradition. He wasn’t as enthusiastic about golf as his wife, but he helped provide refreshments and food while me and Louise were glued to our seats.
We miss Don and think of him often.
So maybe he was helping me to write what I did. He wanted to be a writer while attending university but settled into the family door business. But whatever he wrote – a speech, a business report, a letter of condolence – it had a certain flair and elan.