Sure, Tiger Woods factored in there somewhere, as the reigning idol of almost every Millennial PGA Tour competitor does when the question about one’s childhood hero arises. But Jordan Spieth swears the most esteemed golfer of his youth was Adam Scott.
"He was my favorite player growing up," Spieth said on the eve of Wednesday’s start of the five-day WGC-Dell Match Play in the two-time major winner’s home state of Texas.
"I’ve said that. Have I not been quoted on that before?" he asked, after a reporter questioned the veracity of his statement.
Not to worry, Adam. The younger Spieth’s appreciation for the player 13 years his senior was nothing more than that of an appreciative young golfer — who still treasures a memento that sports the Aussie’s autograph.
"I don’t think I had a poster. I’m not [a fanboy? stalker? creep?]," said Spieth, who shook his head, pulled an "eww" face as if he smelled something nasty, and did not finish the sentence. The gathered scribes howled with laughter.
"I loved his game," Spieth explained about the 2013 Masters champ whom he would only meet in match play if each of them runs the table in his bracket. "I obviously loved his golf swing. Who doesn’t?"
In addition to appreciating his on-course demeanor, the way Scott treated adoring fans was special to Spieth's younger self.
"When I was a little kid, he signed — I still — I had a Byron Nelson [Championship] ticket that he had signed and I liked his signature," Spieth recalled. "He had just kind of a star on his signature; it was pretty cool. I just liked that when I was younger."
As has become something of a requirement when any of today’s young guns mention a childhood favorite, Spieth threw in the name of the absent winner of 79 PGA Tour events who remains sidelined as he continues to recover from multiple back surgeries.
"And obviously the dominance of Tiger," he said, "I admired as well."
Spieth, whose life has changed rather dramatically since winning back-to-back titles (Masters, U.S. Open) to kick off the 2015 major season, remembered to thank another superstar for helping him navigate the sometimes treacherous waters of his relatively new-found acclaim.
"I did some talking with Tom Brady," Spieth said of the four-time Super Bowl-winning Patriots QB and his Under Armour stablemate. "I’ve spent, on a couple different occasions, some time with him and certainly received some advice. He’s obviously in the spotlight, being arguably one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, if not the best."
"It’s pretty cool just to have that opportunity to talk to him and then for him to want to reach out and help," Spieth added. "Just on how do you adjust to still do what you want to do, love to do it, while still that outside noise is there now."
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SB Nation Video Archives: Urban golfing with a U.S. Open champ (2012)
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