On the eve of The Players, Jordan Spieth quietly went across the way from TPC Sawgrass to original Players host Sawgrass Country Club. He wasn't trying to get in any last-minute practice out of the view of hordes of spectators. Rather, he was going to meet with some fans, current and new.
Spieth went to an event on Wednesday at Sawgrass C.C. organized by The First Tee chapter of Jacksonville, Fla., for the foundation started by veteran PGA Tour caddie Paul Tesori, visiting special-needs children and their parents.
Tesori, who has looped for the likes of Vijay Singh and Webb Simpson in his career, started the Tesori Family Foundation in 2010 with the hope of providing assistance to those in need. As Golfweek mentions, the foundation helped 20 homeless children with educational opportunities and laptops to help them in their schooling. In 2014, Tesori and his wife, Michelle, welcomed their son, Isaiah, into the world. He has Down syndrome.
The connection is somewhat clear for Spieth. His sister, Ellie, was born with a neurological disorder that places her on the autism spectrum. The bond Jordan and Ellie share is remarkable, even in the small public glimpses he's showed us. Spieth has called his sister an "angel" and a blessing for the family. No doubt he believes Isaiah is the same for the Tesoris.
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Spieth spoke with the children, hit some golf balls and signed some autographs. Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles was an unexpected surprise who showed up unprompted. Then the kids got to play, too, hitting balls and rolling putts. After spending some time interacting with other guests, Spieth slipped out to make his final Players preparations.
“He didn’t have to do this,” Tesori said to Golfweek, “but it’s the type of person he is. It was really, really cool of him. It means a lot to us.”