Why Jordan Spieth might consider a 60 better than the two 59s he’s witnessed

Why Jordan Spieth might consider a 60 better than the two 59s he’s witnessed
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When Cameron Young made a 10-foot par putt for 59 in the third round of the Travelers Championship, Jordan Spieth became a footnote in history as the only player to twice be in the same group as someone who broke 60.

Spieth also played alongside Justin Thomas in the 2017 Sony Open when he made a 15-foot eagle putt on his final hole for 59 in the opening round.

So which was the best round he personally witnessed?

He leaned toward a 60.

Remember, Spieth also was playing with Bryson DeChambeau in the second round of the 2021 BMW Championship at Caves Valley. DeChambeau hit 8-iron to 2 feet for eagle on the par-5 16th hole and needed only to birdie one of the last two holes.

He missed from 15 feet on No. 17 and from 6 feet on No. 18 and shot 60.

“I would say Bryson that day because it was a par 72,” Spieth said. “That might be the answer on those three rounds.”

He had deep appreciation for all three.

Young got off to a flier — two birdies, holing out for eagle from 142 yards, another birdie to reach 5 under through four holes on the par-70 TPC River Highlands. Key was a 30-foot putt on No. 9 and a 3-iron to 4 feet for eagle on the reachable par-4 15th. Conditions allowed for players to lift, clean and place, though Young hit only six fairways.

Spieth was grouped with Cameron Young on Saturday at TPC River Highlands, the second time he’s had a front-row seat to a sub-60 score.

“I remember thinking both Cam and Justin were right in it at the beginning,” Spieth said.

Thomas holed out from eagle on the short par-4 10th at Waialae to start his round. He actually bogeyed the next hole but then had a 10-hole stretch of eight birdies, including five in a row around the turn.

What Spieth doesn’t recall is that he hit the ball better than Thomas that day — Spieth’s average proximity to the hole was 18 feet, compared with 25 feet for Thomas.

“There’s definitely an argument to be for JT because he knew he needed eagle (on the final hole) and made a 15-foot slider,” Spieth said. “That’s a little bit different. That was the most clutch of the three.”

DeChambeau wasn’t clutch. He hit pitching wedge to 6 feet below the cup for 59 and missed. But so thorough was his performance that day that he never had more than two birdies in a row.

He was 9.913 shots better than the field average at Caves Valley, while Thomas was 9.249 better than the field at Waialae. Young was 7.845 shots better at TPC River Highlands.

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