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Ryder Cup 2018: Jordan Spieth says chest-thump celebration was in response to Ian Poulter

September 29, 2018

The U.S. finds itself in a 10-6 hole heading into Sunday's singles at the 42nd Ryder Cup, but it would have been a lot worse if not for the duo of Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas. The pair of 25-year-old stars — and yes, best buds — won both of their matches on Saturday, including a final contest of the afternoon foursomes session that was capped by a Spieth birdie and emphatic chest-thump celebration.

Emotional reactions certainly are nothing new at the Ryder Cup, but if it seemed like Spieth's seemed to have a little extra oomph in it, that's because it did. Turns out, the three-time major champ had been saving it for one of his opponent's, longtime European stalwart (and pest) Ian Poulter.

First, in case you missed it, here's Spieth's winning putt and reaction:

And then here was his response when asked about the celebration.

"Ian, being a Ryder Cup guru, to have him twice today and win, and he pounded his chest twice on us earlier today," Spieth told NBC/Golf Channel's Steve Sands after he and Thomas defeated Poulter and Rory McIlroy 3&2. "So I was waiting for the right moment, and I think to win the match this afternoon, it felt like the right time."

Fair enough, but what about the ol' "Scoreboard" comeback in reference to the U.S. still trailing 10-6 overall?

"Clearly, we're down four points so in the scheme of things, we shouldn't necessarily be celebrating," Spieth continued. "But for us two to get that point and the way we played today and the battle we had with those guys both matches, it was emotional, and it was awesome. It feels like you're competing on Sunday at a major on every hole."

Ironically, it was Poulter who had a particularly exuberant reaction after winning the last match on Saturday at Medinah in 2012 to pull Europe to within 10-6. Considering what happened the following day, maybe Spieth's antics are exactly what Team USA needs.