PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- A young man enjoyed dinner with friends in a crowded restaurant Tuesday night.
This fact alone isn't newsworthy whatsoever without context, so let's add a little detail.
A young man enjoyed dinner with friends in Pebble Beach's famed Tap Room, just a few yards behind the course's first tee.
Sounds like a nice time, but again, hardly anything too interesting. Let's try one more time.
Jordan Spieth, the world's No. 1 golfer, enjoyed dinner with friends in Pebble Beach's famed Tap Room, just a few yards behind the course's first tee.
Now we're getting somewhere.
No, it's not a major story that Spieth ate dinner in public. It isn't news that he sat at a table right in the middle of the establishment, not cloistered away in a corner. And it certainly shouldn't be a big deal that when recognized after sitting down, he didn't scoff at being approached, but instead smiled and blurted, "Can you believe I haven't been here before?"
None of this is newsworthy until we understand what it represents.
While other elite golfers and other celebrities -- and yes, Spieth is rapidly qualifying as the latter, too -- might shy away from the public spotlight when outside of the arena, instead opting for seclusion and privacy, the current No. 1 enjoys, well, just living his life.
We say this as if the alternative would be unnatural, but here's the big takeaway: Jordan Spieth likes to have fun.
In addition to that dinner, already this week he has played popular bucket-list entry Cypress Point with country music star Jake Owen, who is also his pro-am partner for a third consecutive year. And he's held a joint news conference with Owen, during which they joked about the likenesses of their respective bobbleheads, trash-talked about each other's games and genuinely discussed how much fun they're having so far.
"This week, I mean, it really is, it's so unique and it's so much fun," Spieth said. "I mean, how can you not have fun?"
But here's the thing: This week is fun for a lot of players. Spieth's fun extends to well beyond this week.
During that Wednesday interview session with the assembled media, Owen told a few stories about his buddy not only showing up to his charity golf tournament in Vero Beach, Florida, but showing up and entertaining and putting on a show.
You probably saw this on social media since it quickly went viral, but while standing on the first tee, Spieth asked Owen whether he should try out a Happy Gilmore swing in front of the fans. Before the musician could even answer, he ran toward his ball, took a mighty lash and belted it down the fairway.
"By the way," Owen told him with a laugh, "it was good for my Twitter feed, because it was reposted many thousands of times."
The fun didn't end there, either.
Spieth and Owen have a continuous wagering system of placing odds on any shot around the course. A few holes after the Happy Gilmore swing, Spieth was 98 yards from the green and asked for odds on holing it out from there.
"He looks at me in front of my dad or whatever and says, 'All right, what are the odds? I'm going to make this,'" Owen recalled with bewilderment. "I'm like, 'You're like 98 yards out in the middle of the fairway. He just steps up, hits the shot in the air. He's like, 'Pay up.' And I'm sitting there watching it -- this is no lie -- I'm sitting there watching it, it hits three feet behind the pin, with all these people watching, spins back and goes in the hole. And he looks at me and I'm like, 'This doesn't happen with normal people. It doesn't happen.'"
Postscript to the story: They'll soon be putting a plaque in that spot to commemorate the shot.
This isn't to suggest that other professional golfers don't similarly enjoy themselves or that Spieth has more fun than anyone else. But it's important to understand that the pressures of being a 22-year-old who's the world's best golfer and the reigning Masters and U.S. Open champion haven't changed him into an all-work-and-no-play type of guy.
It also isn't to suggest that this week is all fun and games.
Fresh off a week at home after close calls without a trophy in Abu Dhabi and Singapore, Spieth is hungry to claim his second PGA Tour title of the young season.
"As much fun as we're having in between shots," he said, referencing his partnership with Owen, "I'm here to win this golf tournament. And if we can win it together, even better. That would be the ultimate for the week. But I would rather take a win and us get second than us win and me get second. So ..."
He let those words linger in the air for a moment before allowing a smile. He was serious, of course, about wanting to win this week. But in keeping with his overall theme, he was still having some fun, too.