STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Jordan Spieth's schoolboy letter begins storied PGA Tour career

He was in class and couldn't take the call, but the 16-year-old Jordan Spieth later learned his...

Posted: May 17, 2018 11:44 AM
Updated: May 17, 2018 11:44 AM

He was in class and couldn't take the call, but the 16-year-old Jordan Spieth later learned his letter asking to play in the PGA Tour event in his hometown of Dallas had been successful.

Eight years later, Spieth is preparing to tee it up in the same Byron Nelson Championship as world No.3 and three-time major champion.

Jordan Spieth recalls letter as 16-year-old amateur

Asked for invite to Byron Nelson event in Dallas

Returns as world No. 3 and three-time major champion

Spieth, a student at the Jesuit College Preparatory School, was a standout amateur golfer and had written to tournament organizers hoping for a sponsor's exemption.

Not only was his request granted, but he made the cut and finished tied 16th.

'Create similar memories'

Spieth's golfing resume was already impressive. Among his accolades was the 2009 USGA Junior Amateur title, and he was a former US Junior Ryder Cup player.

But amateur exemptions were rare, particularly for schoolboys, and he crafted the letter carefully with the help of his father and others.

He told of his accomplishments, why he wanted the exemption and why he would be a good person to receive an invite. He talked about attending the tournament as an eight-year-old, and recounted a tale of a close encounter with Phil Mickelson, one of the game's biggest stars.

"Now I want to create similar memories for other kids who may one day love the game like I do," he wrote.

READ: Tiger Woods: 'I'm not that far off winning'

'Very excited'

He also told tournament chief George Conant how his friend Justin Thomas -- now the world No.1 -- had made the cut at the Tour's Wyndham Championship and how another of his junior colleagues, Matteo Manassero, had finished tied 13th at the British Open.

"I remember when I got the call I was in class my junior year at Jesuit," Spieth told reporters ahead of the AT&T Byron Nelson Championship at Trinity Forest in Dallas this week.

"I missed the call but I knew I was going to get a call either way that week and so I went out in the courtyard, it was like the middle of the day in February, sometime in February and I called them back and they said that I was going to get the exemption.

"Needless to say the rest of my day was not very productive and it was very productive at the golf course afterwards. I think I practiced past dark that night. I was obviously very excited."

Spieth went on to the University of Texas before turning pro in 2012. The first of his 11 PGA Tour titles came in 2013 and his last in an epic British Open at Royal Birkdale last July.

In 2015, at the age of 21, he became the second youngest player to win the Masters after Tiger Woods, and added the US Open title two months later. He became world No.1 for the first time later that year.

Cruising on golfboards

Spieth, who lives in a house formerly owned by fellow Tour star Hunter Mahan in Dallas, is a regular at Trinity Forest and admits he rides golfboards -- like surfboards on wheels -- with music blaring as he plays the course with friends.

"I don't walk when I'm not on Tour so golfboards are great," added Spieth.

"It's good for pace of play and so we typically go out with four, five guys all on golfboards and just cruise around and, you know, in three and a half hours with a five-some and it's a blast.

"It's funny when you get on it for the first time, it's pretty awkward. By the third or fourth hole you get the hang of it."

Visit CNN.com/golf for more news, features and videos

Thomas, who went to No.1 after last week's Players Championship, and second-ranked Dustin Johnson are absent this week.

So, too, is Woods, who instead announced he will next play at Jack Nicklaus' Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village, Ohio, starting May 28 -- an event he has won five times.

READ: Erin Walker on the ups and downs of life as a PGA Tour wife

Spieth will play alongside former US Open champion Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland and fellow Texan Jimmy Walker, who is back in form with a tied second at the Players after a lengthy struggle with Lyme disease.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 692029

Reported Deaths: 8118
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1420361857
Ramsey59138950
Dakota52802499
Anoka48675484
Washington31035311
Stearns25220241
St. Louis20709336
Scott19922146
Wright18796163
Olmsted16101111
Sherburne13732104
Carver1228652
Clay928595
Rice9218124
Blue Earth883747
Crow Wing7961102
Kandiyohi750289
Chisago725258
Otter Tail680795
Benton6577101
Mower570538
Winona561352
Goodhue557680
Douglas543684
Itasca527671
Beltrami521172
McLeod513464
Steele512821
Isanti497170
Morrison473363
Nobles453850
Becker445859
Polk439975
Freeborn434140
Lyon399854
Carlton395659
Nicollet384747
Pine379526
Mille Lacs360360
Brown354244
Cass350835
Le Sueur345930
Todd328434
Meeker311049
Waseca294725
Martin268733
Wabasha24734
Dodge24655
Hubbard238541
Roseau235924
Houston207416
Redwood204042
Renville202548
Fillmore200810
Pennington193622
Wadena189426
Faribault182825
Sibley178810
Cottonwood178524
Chippewa172739
Kanabec167029
Aitkin157338
Watonwan156711
Rock141819
Jackson135412
Pope13478
Yellow Medicine127020
Pipestone125526
Koochiching122319
Stevens121611
Swift118819
Murray116610
Marshall105818
Clearwater105418
Lake93021
Wilkin90314
Lac qui Parle87024
Mahnomen7069
Big Stone7014
Grant6958
Norman6739
Lincoln6624
Kittson53722
Unassigned50993
Red Lake4937
Traverse4325
Lake of the Woods4124
Cook2140

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 438547

Reported Deaths: 6420
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk69441683
Linn26618363
Scott23312265
Black Hawk19397338
Woodbury17483233
Johnson1698692
Dubuque14775221
Pottawattamie13369186
Dallas13048102
Story1211448
Warren707893
Webster6479103
Cerro Gordo6370105
Clinton635898
Des Moines618084
Muscatine5985109
Marshall586981
Sioux547676
Jasper532076
Lee529084
Wapello5230128
Buena Vista479442
Marion464086
Plymouth442185
Henry351341
Jones341159
Bremer331365
Washington330454
Crawford326844
Carroll326553
Benton325756
Boone318636
Mahaska282754
Dickinson276547
Kossuth257471
Clay255629
Jackson253844
Tama246073
Hardin244547
Buchanan244238
Delaware240143
Cedar228025
Fayette227945
Page225724
Wright221741
Winneshiek219237
Hamilton216752
Harrison205476
Madison199920
Clayton199758
Floyd195742
Butler191936
Poweshiek188837
Mills188225
Iowa185927
Cherokee184740
Allamakee181152
Jefferson178238
Lyon178041
Calhoun172213
Hancock170336
Winnebago170131
Cass164356
Louisa161651
Grundy161335
Appanoose158149
Shelby156539
Emmet153241
Franklin152224
Humboldt151626
Union149937
Sac147922
Mitchell146143
Guthrie142132
Chickasaw141618
Palo Alto134527
Clarke130226
Montgomery127940
Keokuk121332
Monroe118733
Howard118422
Ida109838
Davis105025
Greene103012
Pocahontas102623
Monona99034
Lucas98523
Adair97734
Worth9558
Osceola84717
Decatur76710
Fremont76511
Van Buren75221
Taylor73412
Wayne66323
Ringgold63027
Audubon60114
Adams4254
Unassigned270
Rochester
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 72°
Mason City
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 72°
Albert Lea
Partly Cloudy
72° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 72°
Austin
Partly Cloudy
72° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 72°
Charles City
Partly Cloudy
72° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 72°
Clouds and showers arrive on Friday
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Community Events