THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Jordan Spieth had a familiar face carrying his bag in Thursday’s first round of the Zozo Championship at Sherwood.
Shawn Spieth, his father.
The elder Spieth was the third caddie Spieth has had on his bag in less than a week. Last week, Spieth’s longtime caddie, Michael Greller, left the CJ Cup at Shadow Creek in North Las Vegas before the third round after getting word his mother, Jane, passed away earlier that morning.
Spieth turned to Preston Valder, an associate of Patrick Cantlay’s, to carry the bag the rest of the tournament. This week, he turned to his father, who previously caddied for his son in the 2019 World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship after Greller’s father, John, passed away that week.
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“To lose both your parents in a year and a half, like I told (Greller), I have no way of relating to it, but I can only imagine,” Spieth said. “I was with him Saturday morning after he found out the news and I never have really seen him like that.
“We’ve been through a lot of stuff together.
“I think it’s a really tough situation for him right now, and as much time as he needs (he gets). It’s like he was wanting to kind of come back. I’m like, ‘Dude, it’s your bag whenever you want it, just do what you need to do for the more important things in life right now.’”
Greller, a former grade-school math teacher, has teamed with Spieth for three major championships and 14 professional wins around the world.
Shawn Spieth was on the bag when his son tied for 54th in Mexico. And Spieth shot 2-under-par 70 Thursday to stand six shots back of leader Sebastian Munoz.
“So we get a special time with me and my dad this week,” Spieth said. “Then we’ll gear up for Augusta and get ready to have Mikey back.”
Spieth was all smiles after the round talking about having his father on the bag. And he even laughed at one moment when his father was out of bounds, so to speak, in the player-caddie relationship.
“He did the old ‘No, no,’ on our fourth hole, on 13,” Spieth said. “I’m stepping into the ball and he goes, ‘Just don’t overdo it.’ I step back, step back in. I’m like, ‘Dad, there’s only really like one or two things you just can’t do and that’s just don’t say not to hit it somewhere while I’m stepping into the shot.
“He goes, ‘Well, you know, you did it on No. 11, so I didn’t want you to do it on 13.’ But yeah, it was funny. I know he’s enjoying it and it’s a tough walk. The other time he caddied for me was Mexico City, which was at 8,000 feet, so I’m not exactly picking the easiest ones for him.”