If you’re just now looking at the 2023 Players Championship leaderboard, you would see Jordan Spieth sitting well inside the cut line at even after 36 holes. But it almost went quite differently for Spieth at the end of his second round on Friday.
You see, Spieth blocked one hard on the 9th (his final hole of the day) that was definitely going in the water. Instead it hit a fan and bounced back into play with Spieth making an eagle to go from 2 over to even par.
Those at 2 over may still make the cut, but those sitting at even and 1 over definitely into the weekend, so Spieth and his fans all have that patron to thank for what will surely be some theatrics come early Saturday morning.
“It was going in one of the waters, and I guess it hit the cart path and short-hopped off the guy’s knee and then went out in the fairway forward,” said Spieth after his round. “The way for it to go off of him, it also then went off his knee, up in the air, over some of the water. I mean, it’s the equivalent of flying a green towards a hazard and hitting a grandstand and coming back on the green in a way. Needing to probably birdie to make the cut, I can’t really birdie having to drop it over in the right rough over there after hitting my third. It would have been a one in a million make. Instead, I ended up making a 3.”
He continued: “A lot of times, I kind of feel bad about that and don’t focus on the next shot, but I hit a 3-wood exactly where I wanted to and hit a chip exactly where I wanted to, so I’m very happy about rebounding from that. But yeah, I didn’t see it, but when I struck it, I was like, ‘That’s out of play.’ Then all of a sudden they were like Joe, Max’s caddie, said it got a huge kick [and] it’s in the fairway. I don’t know what it can hit off of over there except for a person.”
With his eagle at the last, Spieth ultimately signed for a 3-over 75 to follow his Thursday 69. At even par, he is not completely out of the championship but will need a monumental effort over the weekend if he is to factor into the finish. Still, Spieth has that opportunity, a break not lost on the three-time major champion.
“I got an extremely lucky break on 9 or I wouldn’t be playing the weekend,” said Spieth. “Trying to get that guy’s information and see literally whatever he wants this weekend because everything from here on out is because it hit him.”
Follow Players Championship live leaderboard coverage throughout Round 2.