Is Jordan Spieth erring by playing John Deere ahead of British Open? 'He knows his schedule and what he needs to do'
There is a debate whether Jordan Spieth is making an error in playing the John Deere Classic the week before he resumes what now is a quest to make history, winning the Grand Slam.
Spieth, who won the John Deere in 2013, his first PGA Tour victory, had committed to playing it before he won the U.S. Open recently. He is honoring that commitment rather than heading to Scotland early to adjust to the time change and to begin preparations for the Open on the Old Course at St. Andrews.
"Yes, the loyalty is admirable," Golf Digest contributor Geoff Shackelford argued in his blog, "but at his Hall of Fame induction will he be remembered for his loyalty to the John Deere Classic, or perhaps for having made a run at easily the greatest accomplishment in our sport: winning the modern Grand Slam?"
John Deere Classic tournament director Clair Peterson said on Wednesday he'd have been fine whatever Spieth's decision.
"Whatever Jordan feels is best for him we're happy to accept," Peterson said. "If he would have contacted us and said, as some have argued, he felt like it was going to be difficult for him to be competitive at the [British] Open and still come to the John Deere, we view our relationship as a long-term relationship, we would have been fine with that."
Spieth will fly to Scotland Sunday evening on the charter the John Deere provides to players in its field who also are entered in the British Open.
"Him being on our charter the last two years, one year winning, and understanding how he feels, the amount of time he has to prepare, he's obviously comfortable with that. It was very similar to his schedule going into the Masters. Who are we to judge if Jordan is making correct decisions? He knows his schedule and what he needs to do.
"Everyone, rightfully so, was impressed when he went to Hilton Head after winning the Masters. That was spectacular. Doing it here after the first two legs of the Grand Slam and the logistics of getting to the Open underscores that even more. As you see on television, he's a young man who is grounded, balanced, his life is in order, and golf is part of his life, but not everything in his life.
"I know he has a lot of good friends and relationships here. I think the week going to be enjoyable for him."