When you step on a golf course as a fan, you know you're at risk of getting whacked by an errant ball. But when your sacrifice helps a player make the cut (and potentially a lot of money), a little more than an apology might be in order.
Jordan Spieth was sitting on the cut line Friday at The Players Championship when he teed up at the par-5 9th. Little did he know, an active marine — Lt. Col. Matt Cutler — was waiting down the fairway to (unknowingly) save his day.
Up until that tee shot, Spieth's second round was going sideways. He was 5 over and getting ready for a disappointing early exit when he sent his 9th hole tee shot far right, seemingly into the water.
Full-field scores from The Players Championship
"Is that out of play?" Spieth asked.
It was, in fact, not out of play, thanks to Cutler's military-grade left knee.
The ball ended up bouncing off Cutler and landed perfectly in the fairway. It was all the luck Spieth needed to turn his day around, eagle the hole and go on to make the cut by two shots.
On Saturday, he built on that knee-jerking momentum, carding a bogey-free, third-round 66 before he got to spend some time with Cutler — who should be his new favorite person.
"He didn't want anything, but I thought if I could do anything for him, I'd try to, and the Tour stepped in and hooked him up, too," Spieth said Saturday.
While the Tour hooked up Cutler and his friends with tickets for the weekend, Spieth signed a flag for him that aptly read, "Sorry & THANKS!"
If you're wondering about the status of Cutler's knee, he seems to be okay, and Spieth isn't too concerned about it after finding out he's a Marine.
"Once I found out he was an active Marine, I don't really think getting hit in the knee really does much to those guys."