2009 Spirit Player Spieth at the 2011 Byron Nelson

May 31st 2011 -
Courtesy Dallas Morning News

IRVING — Jordan Spieth was greeted with cheers as he reached the 17th tee. On his way to the green, a chant of “Jordan! Jordan!” arose from the balcony of an adjacent house.

He managed an appreciative wave of his cap, but as Spieth plowed through the final four holes Sunday, only one thought was on his mind.

“I really wish I could have finished better for the fans,” Spieth said. “It really wasn’t how we drew it up.”

He was barely holding his round together with skillful scrambles as his driver went awry. But Spieth finally succumbed and played the last four holes of TPC Four Seasons at Las Colinas in 6-over par, carding bogeys at Nos. 15 and 17 and double-bogeys at Nos. 16 and 18.

He shot 7-over 77, and dropped to a tie for 32nd, after starting tied for eighth, four strokes from the lead.

“I was humbled by the back nine,” said Spieth, who was paired with champion Keegan Bradley. “Had I won today, who knows? This will sink in, and I’m sure it will sink in in a positive way. But it stings right now.”

Spieth, 17, skipped his Jesuit graduation ceremony Saturday (he said he does not have his diploma yet). He’s headed for Texas on a golf scholarship. And next Monday he’s playing in a U.S. Open qualifier.

Any dreams of winning the HP Byron Nelson Championship ended with one swing at No. 16. He stood at 2 over following a bogey at No. 15, but the way the leader board was crumblinga charge seemed possible.

But Spieth lost his drive to the right and out-of-bounds near a house. At the par-3 17th, he three-putted from 51 feet. At No. 18, he fired at the flagstick, only to have the wind swat his ball back off the bank and into the water.

He battled his driver all day, hitting just four fairways.

Spieth finished the tournament ranked first in putting. He had only two three-putts — both in the final round, including a momentum-killer at No. 8