Jordan Spieth made a bogey 5 on the par-4 eighth in the first round of the 2019 US Open, but Spieth took an adventurous route to that score at Pebble Beach Golf Links — and threw caddie Michael Greller under the bus about it.
Spieth’s tee shot to the famous par 4 went too far, rolling beyond the end of the fairway and over the edge of the cliff to the cove below. That cost Spieth a penalty stroke, which Spieth took dropping into a drop zone as relief from the penalty area. From there, Spieth had approximately 170 yards to the hole, with Greller saying 164 yards when accounting for the drop from the fairway level to green level.
With his third shot, Spieth covered the ball well, pulling it slightly. It landed beyond the green, leaving him with a difficult up-and-down just to save bogey 5.
Exasperated with the last two shots, Spieth said loud enough for Greller to hear, “Two perfect shots, Michael. You got me in the water on one and over the green on the other.”
Jordan Spieth just completely called out his caddie on national TV. Whether the caddie misjudged it or not, that's a bush league move. At the end of the day, you're the one hitting the golf ball.#USOpen pic.twitter.com/lFSYQSGrvR
— Danny Vietti (@DannyVietti) June 13, 2019
Ultimately, Spieth is the one hitting the shots. Greller gives the numbers and some advice. Of course, this isn’t an entirely uncommon conversation. There are frustrating moments in a golf tournament where it feels like the player is getting punished for doing nothing particularly wrong. That can lead to conversations like this one. The difference is that these conversations usually aren’t picked up by a microphone at a major championship.
This was a fascinating window into how Spieth processes difficult spots. In the end, Spieth did manage to get away with a bogey from that spot, making a remarkable salvage effort from what seemed like a potential double bogey or worse.