NFL DraftApril 28, 2017

Ryan Palmer on Saints 'war room' visit: 'One of longest five minutes I've ever experienced'

AVONDALE, La. -- Jordan Spieth and Ryan Palmer spent Thursday night observing the strategy of the New Orleans Saints from inside the team’s “war room” for the first round of the NFL draft.

Both are Cowboys fans but also friends with Saints coach Sean Payton. The Saints picked Ohio State cornerback Marshon Lattimore.

“It was awesome just to sit there,” Palmer said. “When they had their time to pick, it was one of the longest five minutes I've ever experienced. The phone calls coming in, the deals trying to be made, listening to Coach [Sean] Payton talk to his scouts and what they really wanted to do.

“I've always wondered how it worked, and it's funny, if you've seen the movie Draft Day, it's pretty close to that. Just watched the phone calls coming in, the deals trying to be made, those last three, four minutes deciding who they want, and I think they were really big into [Texas A&M quarterback Patrick] Mahomes, but when they got Lattimore, you could see the excitement in all the scouts' eyes, coach Payton's eyes. It was pretty cool for us.”

A day later, Palmer and Spieth employed what turned out to be a pretty good strategy of their own, ham-and-egging their way to seven birdies and one bogey for a second-straight six-under 66 in the second round of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, this time in fourballs.

The two Texans, who decided to team up when Spieth lost a bet to Palmer’s caddie last November, are just three back heading into the weekend at TPC Louisiana, where the format on Saturday will be back to alternate shot.

Their plan: To hope to match the scores they shot the first two days, something that will be made more difficult by expected high winds on Saturday and what is likely to be heavy rain if not a washout on Sunday.

Spieth will also have to putt better. His flat stick was cold for much of the second round until he finally made a few birdies late, including a 24-footer on the par-4 fourth (their 13th).

“I think we're both coming in and being positive when the other is a little off,” Spieth said. “For me, it was just I couldn't get the lid off the hole with the putter, and Ryan was just trying to find the club face with the irons, and I felt like we both were kind of picking each other up that led to that strong finish. We very well could be out of this tournament right now if it weren't for the last hour and a half.”


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