Spieth experiencing annual May awakening at NCAA Norman Regional Championship
May 17, 2012
NORMAN, Okla. -- It’d be hard to argue that ‘Mr. May’ would be an inappropriate nickname for Texas Men’s Golf freshman Jordan Spieth. Take a look back at Spieth’s fifth-month accomplishments over the last three years as chatter about the top-ranked collegiate individual first began when he was just a sophomore at Dallas Jesuit Prep …
May 15, 2009: wins first UIL Class 5A State Boys Golf Championship
May 14, 2010: co-medalist of the rain-shortened, 27-hole UIL 5A State Boys Golf Championship
May 21, 2010: becomes the sixth-youngest player to make the cut at a PGA Tour event at the Byron Nelson Classic (age 16)
May 23, 2010: finished tied for 16th at 4-under-par 276 after rounds of 68, 69, 67 and 72 at the Byron Nelson Classic
May 13, 2011: wins third-consecutive UIL Class 5A State Boys Golf Championship by seven strokes
May 20, 2011: finished tied for 32nd at 2-under-par 286 after rounds of 69, 68, 72 and 77 at the PGA Tour Byron Nelson Classic
May 10, 2012: named one of three finalists for The Ben Hogan Award, the most prestigious award in college golf
So it shouldn’t be surprising that Spieth fired a course record 6-under 66 in competitive play from the championship tees at Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club on Thursday, May 17, 2012 – the same day play began at what would have been his third-straight PGA Tour Byron Nelson Classic appearance had it not coincided with the NCAA Norman Regional Championship.
After making par on the first four holes, Spieth made birdie at No. 5, then sank a 30-footer for eagle at the par-5 eighth, and added a birdie at No. 9. The final five holes on the front nine proved game-changing for the remainder of Spieth’s round.
“I got some confidence on five. I hit my wedge to six feet below the hole, right where I wanted it, and made the putt,” Spieth said. “The pin placement on eight was right in the middle and the line wiggled back and forth a little, but the putt went right in the middle of the hole. Nine was a tough hole location, and I hit it about 12-feet past the hole, but it went right in the middle, too. I started stroking it well at that point and my confidence started to build.”
That confidence reared its head early on the back nine where Spieth made three-straight birdies on 12, 13 and 14 and went to 7-under through 14 holes.
“Twelve was a tough par three, but I hit a little 8-iron into the wind and made a 15-footer. I was close to the green in two on the par-5 13th, hit a good pitch to six feet, and after that, I hit a 6-iron to 20 feet and that putt barely fell in the front of the hole,” Spieth said.
Spieth’s only blemish came on the par-4 16th where he missed his three-foot par putt. He failed to get up-and-down for what would have been a final birdie on 18, a closing par-5 hole where the green is protected by small creek, to finish with a 6-under 66 for the course record.
“I found out after my round about the course record. That’s what you shoot to do every time you go out there,” Spieth said. “You try to birdie each hole, and if you play aggressive and fearless, it can happen.”
Fearless and aggressive certainly worked for the freshman phenom Thursday. With Spieth back in the groove during May, hopes certainly remain high for the top-ranked Texas Men’s Golf team as it continues to set its site on reaching the NCAA Championship at Riviera Country Club to finish the month.