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.

Confirmed Cases: 96734

Reported Deaths: 2060
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin27177931
Ramsey10985320
Dakota7585126
Anoka6182135
Stearns404524
Washington384155
Scott260333
Olmsted247328
Nobles197516
Blue Earth17146
Wright16647
St. Louis161841
Carver14297
Clay141140
Rice13438
Mower13365
Sherburne116114
Kandiyohi10262
Winona90618
Lyon7134
Waseca6898
Benton5583
Steele5532
Freeborn5444
Nicollet54217
Crow Wing53318
Watonwan5304
Chisago5071
Todd5022
McLeod4942
Le Sueur4724
Otter Tail4454
Beltrami4405
Martin42610
Goodhue3769
Itasca33914
Pine3360
Douglas3262
Polk3164
Isanti3071
Becker2802
Carlton2711
Morrison2642
Dodge2480
Pipestone23010
Cottonwood2270
Chippewa2191
Meeker2072
Wabasha2010
Brown1952
Sibley1953
Yellow Medicine1872
Cass1824
Unassigned18052
Rock1760
Murray1702
Redwood1703
Mille Lacs1653
Renville1568
Jackson1501
Faribault1460
Swift1421
Houston1270
Kanabec1268
Roseau1240
Fillmore1230
Koochiching1233
Pennington1201
Lincoln1150
Hubbard1111
Stevens1051
Pope980
Big Stone830
Aitkin811
Wadena690
Wilkin663
Grant624
Lac qui Parle601
Lake590
Marshall531
Norman530
Mahnomen481
Red Lake451
Traverse310
Clearwater280
Lake of the Woods231
Kittson120
Cook60

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 86239

Reported Deaths: 1307
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk15962262
Woodbury550964
Johnson514727
Black Hawk450090
Linn4078112
Story345317
Dubuque328341
Scott302028
Dallas279838
Pottawattamie214139
Buena Vista199212
Marshall179034
Sioux16463
Wapello133457
Webster127214
Plymouth115521
Clinton112421
Muscatine111155
Crawford10915
Cerro Gordo105821
Warren9656
Jasper84532
Des Moines7978
Marion7637
Henry7464
Tama73231
Carroll6745
Lee6397
Wright5921
Dickinson5286
Boone5118
Bremer4957
Washington46611
Louisa42915
Delaware4103
Mahaska41019
Floyd3523
Franklin35018
Jackson3503
Winneshiek3396
Lyon3324
Clay3284
Hamilton3273
Benton3241
Winnebago31513
Hardin3041
Poweshiek3048
Buchanan2851
Jones2763
Kossuth2740
Butler2712
Shelby2671
Clarke2663
Emmet26510
Allamakee2646
Clayton2613
Chickasaw2570
Sac2570
Cherokee2512
Cedar2501
Guthrie2456
Harrison2413
Fayette2272
Grundy2233
Madison2232
Iowa2131
Palo Alto2030
Mitchell1910
Howard1906
Humboldt1903
Hancock1882
Calhoun1853
Mills1811
Page1700
Cass1692
Osceola1680
Pocahontas1632
Monroe15911
Monona1571
Lucas1566
Appanoose1393
Jefferson1391
Union1373
Taylor1311
Davis1274
Fremont1220
Ida1221
Van Buren1141
Keokuk1091
Worth1080
Greene1010
Montgomery975
Wayne872
Audubon821
Adair721
Decatur670
Ringgold522
Adams330
Unassigned230
Rochester
Broken Clouds
48° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 43°
Mason City
Overcast
48° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 43°
Albert Lea
Broken Clouds
48° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 44°
Austin
Broken Clouds
48° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 44°
Charles City
Scattered Clouds
46° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 43°
Much Cooler Week Ahead
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Sara's Evening Forecast - Monday

Image

Increase in permit to carry applications

Image

Elder Network aims to improves lives of seniors

Image

Olmsted County Public Health gives update

Image

Construction Class For Pine Island Students

Image

Premier Bank Collecting Donations

Image

School Meal Plans In Albert Lea

Image

Professor Reacts To Trump'

Image

Sean's Weather 9/28

Image

40,000 mail-in ballots sent out

Community Events