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Jordan Spieth navigates adventurous 18th hole at Valero Texas Open

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    Written by Kevin Robbins

    SAN ANTONIO — Jordan Spieth wanted the world to know how well he drove the ball at the Valero Texas Open.

    That’s not how the world works.

    Speith ranked third in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee in four rounds at TPC San Antonio. He was third in driving distance. That much is true.

    But it was his adventure on the par-5 18th hole Saturday that inspired all kinds of traffic on social media — “unthinkable,” “wacky,” “bizarre” and “gutter ball” seemed to be trending — and played out on live television.

    His drive traveled 354 yards, but in the entirely wrong direction. His ball stopped in a native area, surrounded by cacti and scrub, left of and well below the fairway of the 618-yard finishing hole. His next shot — a 7-iron — flew but 80 yards, landing in a ditch, with a concrete drain and a head-high bush between him and the green, 183 yards in the distance. That’s where things got weird.

    “I asked the rules official,” Spieth explained Sunday. “He told me there’s no out-of-bounds and that if you could get it up here and you know where it is, then you drop it by the scoreboard.”

    Here would be well left of the spectator seating about 125 yards from the green. Here also would be on the tin roof of the main clubhouse, which is where a cart path dispatched Spieth's ball after he struck it with his gap wedge. It finished in a gutter. Spieth said he wasn’t aware that that’s where it ended up.


    Jordan Spieth hits ball onto roof, cards double bogey at Valero


    Spieth took the drop he expected, but an oak limp impeded his fourth shot. He hit a low punch and took three putts. Double bogey.

    He said he considered hitting a left-handed shot, just to get a ball in play.

    “I thought I could finagle a stroke,” he said.

    Lesson learned. “I tried,” Spieth said. “It didn’t come out very good and sure enough I was left with the same kind of situation on the next shot. If I didn’t three-putt, I maybe felt like I would have saved a shot, but ultimately I could have just re-teed and made a better score.”

    Entertainment value aside, Spieth said he regretted that a “crazy” outcome one one hole overshadowed an otherwise inspiring week of driving.

    If he could do it all again … he wouldn’t.

    “I should’ve just hit it left-handed out into the fairway.”

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