Jordan Spieth Receives Huge Slice Of Luck At Bay Hill

Spieth endured a hectic final hole at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, with the American lucky to save a bogey

Spieth strikes a shot from the cart path with a number of fans looking on
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Jordan Spieth received a huge slice of luck at Bay Hill on Friday when, playing his final hole, he found trouble up the left hand side of the 18th. However, after a series of events which included a left handed stance, a cart path and a rules official, the three-time Major winner was able to receive a drop and secure a bogey, something which could have been far, far worse after his tee shot.

According to those in attendance, the drive didn't reach the 200 yard mark and didn't get more than 30-feet off the ground. From there, things got a little hectic, with Spieth's ball coming to rest against a fence and just a mere foot or so from a cart path. 

Because the American couldn't get relief from the fence due to it being a boundary line and, because he couldn't set up to the ball right handed, only left, he was able to take relief from the cart path and drop to the right of it, allowing for a full swing.

Reading this, you may think that the rules were bent in a severe way but, in the second round, Spieth went through the process meticulously with the on-site rules official.

Speaking after his round to the Golf Channel, the 29-year-old stated: “There’s that little space in between the cart path and the out of bounds so I had no stance to hit it right-handed, but I had enough room to hit a shot left-handed to punch it up the path up the rough. 

"That would have been a better shot than taking an unplayable so that’s what I would have done. And given that, I was standing on the cart path so I took left-handed relief on the other side, and then from there, I’m allowed to play it any which way I want to."

jordan spieth driver

Spieth is looking for his first victory since the 2022 RBC Heritage

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Currently, Spieth sits two shots back of the lead, with the American explaining his drive off the 18th hole. "I was very prepared to grab another golf ball. I was trying to hit a drive that I don't know the last time I've ever hit a drive that way, like easy and head high and drawing. I mean, I just didn't want to hit 3-wood. I thought the wind was like hard enough for a 3-wood to get in the air, but a driver, if it was smashed, could run into the water.

"So I was trying to like hit a low one that held the wind that didn't get up in the air much and I drop-kicked it, which I don't think I've ever done on Tour. So, yeah, like I said, I've hit a lot of good tee balls. That one wasn't one of 'em. So I just want to hit a couple of 'em that aren't that way."

Following the explanation, attention turned to the drop, with Spieth explaining that: "I walked over there and the way the fence is angled, I mean, there's, I couldn't even stand to hit it right-handed. But left-handed you have a full arc. So I mean, I would have taken a 52 degree or a pitching wedge and just hit it lefty and just tried to get it over to the fairway. I could have hit it as hard as I wanted to. Just try and get it up in the fairway, and I would be standing on the cart path.

"So it was very fortunate. I'm a bit surprised that it's where they have the fence. You think maybe they would put it further away where you don't get that opportunity or right on the path. It was very lucky. I almost, I mean, the whole entire hole I should have made 6 or 7 and I sneakily almost made a 4."

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