Spieth's letter to AT&T Byron Nelson as teenager
Then 16-year-old standout junior golfer asks to be considered for a sponsor exemption
May 14, 2018
- May 14, 2018
- Jordan Spieth wrote a letter to the tournament chairman in 2010. (Darren Carroll/Getty Images)
Editor's note: In 2010, a standout 16-year-old junior golfer named Jordan Spieth wrote to AT&T Byron Nelson Championship Tournament Chairman George Conant, asking to be considered for a sponsor exemption. It was later granted, and Spieth not only made the cut but finished T16. The rest, as they say, is history. Below is the text from Spieth's letter.
January 11, 2010
Mr. George Conant
2010 HP Byron Nelson Championship
Dear Mr. Conant,
I would really like to be considered for a sponsor exemption to play in the 2010 HP Byron Nelson Championship. As a Dallas native, I have dreamed of playing in this event ever since my dad took me to watch when I was 8. I can remember Phil Mickelson hitting a ball right at us on #2 just left of the green. The ball landed about 10 feet in front of us in the left rough. Phil approached us and asked me if the ball he spotted was his. I told him yes and my dad asked if we needed to move. He said “no, but please stay very still while I hit the shot.” We did and he pitched it right next to the cup for an easy tap in save. His turned and smiled at us and said “thanks for being so still.” That was the closest I’d ever been to see a PGA pro hit a shot, and it has stuck with me ever since. Now I want to create similar memories for other kids who may one day love the game like I do.
I have worked hard on my game for the 8 years since that moment, and I have been fortunate enough to have that work start to pay off the past couple of years. A few examples of this success are:
— 2007 youngest ever Starbust Champion at 13
— 2008 AJGA Ping Invitational Champion
— 2008 Member of Winning Jr. Ryder Cup Team
— 2008 USA representative and runner up at the British Junior
— 2008 & 2009 Byron Nelson Jr. Champion
— 2009 Texas State 5A High School Individual Champion (representing Jesuit Dallas CP High School)
— 2009 USGA Junior Amateur Champion
— 2009 Member of USA Spirit gold medal team
— 2009 AJGA Rolex Player of the Year & #1 ranked Polo and Golfweek junior
Although I am very proud of these honors and accomplishments, I remain humble and focused on my long term goal of winning PGA tour events. I will have an opportunity at age 16 to compete in the St. Jude Classic in June as a result of my AJGA Rolex Player of the Year accomplishment. I can’t wait. Having said that, I have always hoped my first PGA tour event would be the Byron Nelson Championship. Mr. Nelson stands for all that is great about the game of golf, and it would be an enormous honor to play in the championship named for him as my first. I tried to qualify last year for the first time. I finished 2nd in my pre-qualifier group, but had an off day at the Monday qualifier and was forced to set my sights on 2010.
I also watched three of my junior golf friends successfully compete in tour events this year as a result of junior golf accomplishments. Justin Thomas made the cut at the Wyndham, Cameron Peck played well at the St. Jude Classic, and Matteo Manassero finished T13 at the British Open.
I know there are many worthy professional and amateur exemption candidates for you to consider. Hopefully the selection committee will determine a home town kid who has had success early in my career has earned the opportunity to compete with the best in the world at the 2010 HP Byron Nelson Championship.
Thank you very much for your consideration!