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Spieth-ian: Two holes after a double-bogey 7, Jordan Spieth dazzles Texas crowds with hole-in-one

April 04, 2024

Raj Mehta

Jordan Spieth stood on the tee at the 199-yard, par-3 16th hole Thursday at the Valero Texas Open. Already on his scorecard were the numbers 3, 4, 5 and 7. There wasn’t a 2, and there wasn’t a 6. The 7 came two holes earlier, when he butchered the par-5 14th hole by driving it way right and having to hit a second tee shot.

Moments later, however, there was a 1.

Spieth was four over par after 15 holes at TPC San Antonio and then hit his tee shot on the 16th hole, picked up his tee, watched the ball stop some 30 feet short of the pin and eventually roll nicely into the bottom of the cup. It was his fourth hole-in-one on the PGA Tour and his first in three years. The gallery went nuts for one of their state’s favorite sons and Spieth high-fived playing partners Hideki Matsuyama and Lucas Glover.

“I had to take some off of a 7-iron and so I lined up to hit like a 185 shot and hit a little fade with the wind that kind of was able to ride the slope then,” Spieth said. “I hit it and I picked up the tee because I did what I wanted to do. And then as it landed and started to—everyone started to stand up, it was the people right in line with it so I thought maybe there's a chance, and then it went in.

“It's actually a brand new 7-iron this week, only the 7-iron. I like hitting my 7-iron and so I've got it to where, when I'm testing my gaps, it like goes five yards too far in the gap. I didn't know why. On Wednesday after the pro-am I was hitting on the back of the range, I had them just bring a brand new 7-iron for new grooves and it was up in the right spin window, so knocked four, five yards off of it. If I didn't change 7-irons yesterday, then I wouldn't have made it. It's funny.”

The hole-in-one seemed to change his momentum of sorts, even though it was later in the round. Spieth drove his ball into a bunker on the par-4 17th hole, but then hit his shot from 69 yards to inside 12 feet. He made that for a birdie.

Spieth then closed with par on the par-5 18th hole when he pitched his third shot to 25 feet and two putted to shoot one-over 73.

So, yes, it was a typical Spieth round. After hacking for most of the day, where he was four over after 15, he played his last three holes in three under. He is 10 shots off the lead. Akshay Bhatia shot nine-under 63 with nine birdies.

“It's just like I'm playing so much better than I've been scoring and it doesn't like look like it. It's hard to explain,” Spieth said. “I've played way worse and had consecutive top-10s than the missed cuts that I've had. It's just very bizarre. Like my game feels fine and I'm just not getting much out of it.”