By John Strege
DUBLIN, Ohio -- Jordan Spieth is not a legend, not yet, anyway, but he does seem to be in the process of constructing a foundation for becoming one.
Only 20 and already a PGA Tour winner who earned nearly $4 million in his rookie season, Spieth also is a member of the U.S. Presidents Cup team, and he made a hole-in-one on the par-3 12th hole at Muirfield Village Golf Club in a practice round on Wednesday. He hit a 7-iron from 173 yards.
"Every time I've been around him great things happen," U.S. assistant captain Davis Love III said. "So I'm trying to hang around him as much as possible. I'm sitting by him at dinner.
"I've always been impressed with everything he's done. He says the right thing, does the right thing, fits right in. Robin Love [Davis' wife] said, 'he just walked in the room like he belongs.' I said, 'yeah, that's why Fred picked him, because he does belong.' He's mature beyond his years and playing great."
Spieth, who will team with Steve Stricker in fourball on day one of the Presidents Cup on Thursday, was playing a practice round with Stricker and had a game with Tiger Woods and his fourball partner Matt Kuchar.
"Tiger had already hit, an 8-iron, and looked like he went after it, so I went ahead and hit kind of a smooth 7 into a little breeze," he said. "It started at the flag and never really left it. In mid-air I thought it was perfect. It took a little while to trickle in and I thought it was going to be about a foot short."
Spieth was playing with Stricker by design. U.S. captain Fred Couples considering Spieth's inexperience and ago and wanted to pair him with a veteran and chose Stricker.
"Phil said it well yesterday," Spieth said. "He said 'it was the same with me and Keegan, that we need each other. It's almost routine for guys that have played it so many times and they like to see how fired up we get. I'm so excited to get going. I'm nervous, which is a great thing, very antsy, very excited. To have people chant 'U-S-A' gives me chills. For it to be my first time, I thinking bringing that kind of new emotion maybe will help.
"Yes, he's going to be a mentor figure for me, and he's going to be very positive. I feel like his game is so perfect it frees me up, it allows me to play exactly how I would play a normal event. I think it will be a great fit tomorrow."
Whatever Spieth does, if form prevails, it will be memorable. "The kid is unbelievable," teammate Brandt Snedeker said. "He's got that 'wow' factor. He seems to do the unbelievable."
(Getty Images photo)