KOHLER, Wis. (Reuters) – American Jordan Spieth nearly ended up in chilly Lake Michigan after hitting a remarkable shot out of the rough from an extreme slope as part of a desperate bid to extend a Ryder Cup foursomes match against Europe on Friday.
Trailing Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia by two at the par-three 17th, Justin Thomas left playing partner Spieth with a daunting recovery shot off a cliff left of the green after his tee shot at the penultimate hole rebounded off a huge mound.
Spieth somehow got the ball to about eight feet from the cup but was unable to stop his momentum after his swing and raced down the hill before finally coming to a stop about eight feet from the water.
“I’d like to say, I don’t think I exaggerated that fall, you know how steep that is. Once I started moving, I was like, I’ve got to keep moving until I find a flat spot,” said Spieth.
“It’s kind of one of those shots that you practice as a kid for fun, and you don’t ultimately want to have it.”
Thomas went on to miss the putt as Rahm and fellow Spaniard Garcia earned a 3&1 victory and the first full point of this year’s Ryder Cup.
Garcia applauded Spieth’s shot and later said he was just happy to see the American avoided injury.
“I was truly afraid for him to hurt himself because of those wood logs that are there, and it was very close to the wall.” said Garcia.
“So I was hoping that he wouldn’t hurt himself, but he hit an unbelievable shot. I didn’t think there was a chance he could get it on the green.”
(Reporting by Steve Keating; Writing by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Christian Radnedge)