Spieth blames “pathetically raked” bunker for double-bogey

Normally cool as a cucumber, Jordan Spieth says he overreacted on Thursday at the Players Championship after he saw with his lie in a greenside bunker.

Did he launch a club like an Olympic hammer-thrower? Not quite. Spieth’s “overreaction” was simply pulling out his phone and taking a picture of his misfortune.

Spieth’s approach on the par 4 first hole, his 10th of the day, landed short of the green and rolled back into the greenside bunker. He was expecting to find his ball sitting up, as it had merely crept into the bunker as opposed to landing hard and burying in the sand.

However, after a pathetic effort of raking the bunker by a previous group, Spieth would have preferred a fried egg lie to what he found instead.

“I was in worse than a plugged lie when (the ball) had just tricked in it.”

Jordan Spieth


From there, Spieth did well to get within 60 feet before three-putting for a double-bogey.

“Guys are very good 99.9 percent of the time and that was very frustrating, because I knew where I was, from a normal lie, it wasn’t too bad; and from that lie I had no chance,” Spieth said. “So it was a frustrating time in the round there where I was trying to kind of get some momentum going.”

Spieth theorizes that this was the work of somebody who was simply ready to move on to the next hole.

“It was a bunker that was raked to where it just kind of looked like somebody didn’t really care much to do it or were rushing off the green,” he said. “I know my guy, Michael (Greller) rakes and makes sure that it’s exactly the way it was when he went in there, so if you hit it in the bunker, everybody gets the same kind of thing.”

The PGA Tour’s Shot Tracker shows that four players were in the offending bunker prior to Spieth on Thursday. Two of them, Cody Gribble and Zac Blair, were in the vicinity of Spieth’s ball.

If anybody fits Spieth’s profile of being in a hurry to get off the hole, it would be Blair. After finding the drink off the tee and taking a penalty stroke more than 200 yards from the green, Blair hit his third shot into the bunker. Any hack who has started a hole in this fashion is familiar with the burning desire to move on to the next tee.

It’s fair to assume that the offending party cost Spieth a stroke on Thursday. Now, it’s time for whichever player, and caddie, did this to own up to it, apologize, and move on. As for Spieth’s overreaction? No apology needed.

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