'He Tried To Talk Me Out Of It Three Times' - Spieth Explains That Cliffhanger Shot

Spieth was just inches away from a 65-foot drop, as he played his approach shot on the 8th hole at Pebble Beach

Spieth hits shot
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It's safe to say that, when Jordan Spieth is in a tournament, the excitement levels are always going to increase. Whether it is a stunning short-game moment, a recovery shot that leaves you in awe or perhaps a hole-in-one which the American is known to pop up with once a season. Spieth certainly knows how to keep the fans engaged.

On Saturday, during his third round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am (opens in new tab), the three-time Major champion produced yet another moment that will live in the memories of golfing fans around the world, with an iron shot from a cliff edge, which left Spieth "nervous" and even a bit "anxious".

After his tee shot ran out a bit too far, Spieth was left with 160-yards into the green, with his ball perilously close to the 65-foot drop (opens in new tab) down the cliff face: "I didn't realise the severity until I got up to it," said Spieth.

"It's so weird, like I never had a situation where you can see a ball, get a swing on it, but you're not going to play it. So it was just kind of weird because it was like 'Well if I can get a swing on it and I can hit it then why would I take a drop?' Then I saw a 65-foot cliff, so it's an unusual situation. Normally if you're walking into a hazard, you see a ball, you hit it out.

"Michael (Spieth's caddie) (opens in new tab) hated it. He tried to talk me out of it three times. I don't blame him, looking back. I'm just glad I made the par to make it worth it, because I don't think I would have made par with a drop.

"It was more of a nervous and adrenaline feeling hitting it and then a more of like an anxiety feeling afterwards, luckily it wasn't before. I mean, footing was solid, but I didn't have much room past where my left foot was and the problem was it sloped down. If it was flat it's no issue at all. 

"It's the down slope that worries you because you're more forward to your left side on a down slope in order to get the strike. You want your weight with the slope. I didn't want my weight with the slope that time. I was almost sitting there going is it worth it because, yes, I can get a strike on it, but am I going to back up out of fear and just kind of thin this in the water.

"So I was trying to weigh it for a minute and Michael continued to try and talk me out of it. I was just trying to think clearly, like, what are the options here. If I felt like I was in real true danger of losing my life I would have pulled the ball back and dropped it. It wasn't quite that severe. But it was enough to where I certainly couldn't put a normal swing or shot on it."

Spieth hits a shot by a cliff

An aerial shot of Spieth's shot on the 8th.


(Image credit: Getty Images)

Finding the back of the green, the 28-year-old would manage to get up and down to save his par. However, it wasn't just his caddie who Spieth may have to explain his nerve-inducing actions to, with both his wife and parents attending the event at Pebble Beach.

Not only were they out and about on the course, but Spieth's son, Sammy, actually watched his dad play for the very first time... " I just saw the blimp shot from overhead and it really bothered me. So I can't imagine what she (Annie) (opens in new tab) was thinking, watching that live," said Spieth

"My son was out for the first time ever on 3 and 4 and I don't know where they went from there. I don't know if they were over at the AT&T hospitality or anything. So, yeah, I mean, my parents are here too, so not only do I have to explain to my wife, I've got to explain to my mum and my dad too," he added.

Matt studied Sports Journalism at Southampton Solent University, graduating in 2019. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly and the PGA, he covers all aspects of the game, from Tour news to equipment testing and buyers’ guides. Taking up the game at the age of six, Matt currently holds a handicap of 3 and despite not having a hole in one…yet, he has had two albatrosses. His favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.