From McIlroy Drop Drama To Players Possibly Sitting Down With PIF, Jordan Spieth's Players Championship Press Conference Covered A Variety Of Topics

Spieth was questioned about two big talking points following his second round at TPC Sawgrass...

Jordan Spieth looks on during the Players Championship
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Jordan Spieth is one of the game's most recognized players, with the American holding a CV that many can only dream of. Along with his play, Spieth isn't one to shy away from golf's biggest talking points and, at The Players Championship, that's exactly what was asked following his second round.

Rory Drop On Thursday

The first big talking point surrounded an incident on Thursday, which involved Spieth, Rory McIlroy and Viktor Hovland. Flying through his first round, McIlroy found the water on the 7th hole at TPC Sawgrass and, following a lengthy discussion on whether his ball had bounced inside the boundary line before dropping into the hazard, it was determined that his ball had.

At the time, Spieth claimed the ball had flown straight into the water. If that were the case, McIlroy would have had to drop further back than he eventually did. In the end, McIlroy dropped in the left rough and made double bogey. 

Speaking after the round, McIlroy said: “I think Jordan [Spieth] was just trying to make sure that I was doing the right thing. I was pretty sure that my ball had crossed where I was sort of dropping it. It’s so hard, right, because there was no TV evidence. If anything I was being conservative with it. I think at the end of the day we’re all trying to protect ourselves, and protect the field, as well."

After not speaking to the media on Thursday, Spieth has now had his say on the matter on Friday, with the three-time Major winner stating: "I thought it ended up in a good spot. I only walked over there because I thought he had dropped it, and then he was questioning where he was dropping it. So I was just trying to make sure he didn't play it and everyone was good. I was good with the spot he was choosing. Then I was just listening to the conversation of Rory and Viktor, and Rory had said, I think it's -- we think it crossed up there, could have been back there, so this seems like somewhere in between. But then that sounds like something you probably should verify with a rules official, and then he did, and it was all good."

He went on to later add: "I get it's me and Rory, but that kind of conversation probably happened a dozen times yesterday in groups. Again, it was like Viktor was having the conversation, and I only walked over because it seemed like, hey, let's just make sure everything is all right, which I wasn't even planning on getting involved and maybe shouldn't have, but it seemed like they were maybe at a sticking point. So I thought maybe I could help."

Spieth would end up firing a 74 and 72 on Thursday and Friday for a two-over total. He was amongst the big names to miss the cut at The Players Championship but, along with the drop drama, he also revealed that players are being "encouraged" to meet with the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund.

Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy point to where the ball went in at TPC Sawgrass

Spieth and McIlroy work out where the ball crossed during the first round of The Players Championship

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Players encouraged to meet with PIF

First reported by Golfweek, it is being claimed that a group of PGA Tour players, specifically the Tour’s player-directors, are nearing a meeting with the top individuals of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, with Spieth stating on Friday that: "We are being encouraged to potentially meet with them at some point, yeah."

He went on to add: "I'm not sure that I can say much more other than we're being encouraged to potentially meet with them, but at the same time we probably feel like our membership should know timing and what could happen and, just in general, maybe it's just a meet.

"I think there's not a whole lot more I can say about that, but we are being encouraged obviously which I think is probably a good thing and the entire board should if there's going to be any potential for a negotiation."

Although time frames haven't been announced yet, various sources told Golfweek that it could happen over the next few days, with Jay Monahan revealing in a press conference on Tuesday that talks with the PIF are “accelerating.”

Speaking ahead of the 50th edition of The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass, Monahan also revealed he had recently met with PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan as discussions over the framework agreement, and, ultimately, the direction of the elite game, continue.

Matt Cradock
Staff Writer

Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.

Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.

Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?

Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°

Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°

Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°

Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x