It’s two years since new American sensation Jordan Spieth contested his very first Major – the 2012 U.S. Open.
Back then the Dallas-born golfer was a 19-year old amateur when he got a last minute call-up to compete in San Francisco.
Spieth didn’t arrive at the course to Tuesday afternoon and booked a practice round for Wednesday morning but couldn’t believe the euphoria that surrounded those also out practicing that day on the Olympic course.
“I was actually an alternate either first or second overall alternate,” he recalls.
“I got a call, I think, Tuesday. So I didn’t get in until Tuesday — maybe I got in Tuesday afternoon. I scheduled Wednesday to play a practice round.
“And I didn’t really know what I was getting into, but I scheduled behind Rory, Adam Scott, I think it was Ian Poulter and Justin Rose.
“And must have been 30,000 people in that practice round group. And I’d played in front of some good crowds, but not on a consistent basis, and that was something unlike — I just wasn’t expecting it on a practice round.
“It was just an incredible atmosphere.”
Spieth posted opening rounds of a pair of 74s but then it was good enough to play all four rounds in his maiden Major appearance.
“I squeaked by the cut line, and I finished early on Friday and went back and had to just watch the scores and hope and hope and hope,” he added.
The University of Texas ‘Longhorn’ then shot weekend scores of 69 and 70 to finish in a share of 21st place and secure the ‘Low Amateur’ award.
“To finish around 20th was the best golf I’d ever played in my life,” he said.
“I just really, really had a great time. I was able to stand up there during the awards ceremony and stand next to Webb (Simpson) and Graeme (McDowell) and Michael Thompson and be a part of that whole ceremony and get the medal was a huge goal of mine.
“And it was really cool to accomplish it back then.
“So now two years ago to now, it’s very different. I don’t really notice the crowds or the people anymore, just in a couple of years of just playing in front of it here and there. So as far as the stage, I feel very, very comfortable. I don’t feel tension or nerves.
“I’m very excited and pumped to get going, but it’s not nerves going into it. I’m sure once it starts, once Thursday morning comes that will be there.
“But as far as the Sunday, Monday prior, just trying to do whatever work we need to get done.
Luckily, I’ve now played in a couple of U.S. Open’s and I start to realize where you need to pick your spots and how to practice to prepare.
“So that’s what we’re doing right now.”