Jordan Spieth wins spot in Open
GULLANE, Scotland -- Wearing the same pair of pants he wore Sunday in winning the John Deere Classic, Jordan Spieth set out for his first round at Muirfield on Tuesday morning, trading the cornfields of Illinois for the links of Scotland.
It has been a wild ride for Spieth, 19, who became the youngest player to win on the PGA Tour since 1931 with his playoff victory at the John Deere. That win, among many other things, meant a spot in the Open Championship field this week.
At 19 years, 11 months and 18 days, Jordan Spieth became the fourth-youngest winner on the PGA Tour since 1900 by way of his victory Sunday at the John Deere Classic. Here's the company he joined:
|-- ESPN Stats & Information|
Spieth's agent, Jay Danzi, had the presence of mind to get the golfer's passport to Moline, Ill., last week, thinking there was a possibility his player might win. He did the same for Spieth's caddie, meaning they could both board the charter flight arranged by the John Deere tournament on Sunday night.
"It's been pretty crazy; honestly, it's been really cool," Spieth said after playing nine holes Tuesday and getting his first look at the course. "I'm just trying to deal with the jet lag. This is normally the week here I'd like to watch the [Deere] replay and soak it all in. But my phone is not really working over here yet and I have no Internet yet, so I haven't seen anything on it, just a couple of pictures.
"It was a good feeling waking up [this morning]. I woke up and it wasn't before the final round; it was after the final round. I thought I'd wake up and it would have been a dream. It feels great. This is an unexpected week. Now I've got to kind of regroup. It's a major championship."
Spieth and the other players competing this week who were part of the John Deere charter took off from Moline, Ill., at approximately 9 p.m. CT Sunday and landed in Edinburgh at 10:30 a.m.
Instead of coming to Muirfield, about 40 minutes away, Spieth stayed in an Edinburgh hotel and rested before venturing to the golf course Tuesday morning. Later, he was to get situated in a house and, among other things, get some laundry done.
He was scheduled to play a practice round with five-time Open champion Tom Watson, but there was a mix-up concerning the number of players in the foursome and Watson actually held a mini lottery to determine who would be in the group.
Alas, Spieth lost out, a small consolation after his big payday Sunday that included invitations to the Open Championship and Masters, a two-year PGA Tour exemption and status as a full tour member, meaning he can participate in the lucrative FedEx Cup playoffs.
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Not bad for a guy who turned pro after his freshman year at the University of Texas and had no status on any tour.
"My mind today is just shifting to the tournament, which you'd like it to shift a couple weeks in advance for a major championship," Spieth said. "On the plane ride over, I tried to reflect and think about last week. Your first win, that's something I'll never forget. I'm not like some of these guys with their 11th, 12th, 13th win, and it's easy to regroup.
"For me, it's been a ton of emotions -- scheduling changing, playing in [FedEx Cup] playoffs, being in the Masters, being able to pick a schedule, my world ranking now up [No. 59] there where I can be in a lot of top events. It's hard to wrap my mind around it all. I'm now trying to put this off until next week."
Spieth said it's not hard to determine the best perk.
"Augusta [The Masters]. I've been out there one time for a Monday in a practice round, and it was like walking on a video game. It'll certainly be nice to be inside the ropes playing."
Spieth played just nine holes Tuesday, trying more to get some rest and get over all the emotions of winning. He said he had congratulatory texts and tweets from various players and got personal recognition Tuesday morning from Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy, as well as Ian Poulter, who warmed up on the range next to him.
Not bad for a guy who turned pro in December and had no status on any tour in the world.
"This is the tournament I watch every year," he said. "It's really cool to watch when you wake up in the morning [in the U.S.] and see guys all miserable out there and you're sitting on your couch watching and thinking, 'Life is good. Look at these guys.'"
Now he is one of them.
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