Jordan Spieth Is a “Gold-Plated Billboard” for UT, His Former Coach Says

Jordan Spieth is a "Gold-Plated Billboard" for UT, His Former Coach Says

University of Texas Men’s Golf head coach John Fields is a proud man today, after watching his former player Jordan Spieth fall just short of making history as the youngest winner of the Masters Tournament at only 20 years old. Spieth entered the final round tied for first with Bubba Watson; he ended the tournament tied for second with Jonas Blixt.

At a press conference  at Darrell K Royal–Texas Memorial Stadium this afternoon, Fields praised the former Longhorn golfer and discussed Spieth’s role in representing the university on the national stage.

“When you got a guy like Jordan out there, he’s a gold-plated billboard for us,” Fields said. “He loved his time here and refers to us all the time. He’s excited about being an alumnus from here, and he was thrilled to be a part of a national championship team. That was one of his major goals.”

Fields compared Spieth to another high-profile athlete who succeeded in high school, college, and on the professional level: Magic Johnson. He also stressed that the national championship team that Spieth was a part of in 2012 will forever be a hallmark achievement in his career, no matter how many PGA events he wins.

“Truthfully, he’s got some incredible things ahead, but let’s say he goes forward and wins x-number of major championships. He’d still say that winning a national championship at Texas is one of those things in his career that will rank up there with the finest things he’s ever done,” Fields said.

He then supplemented that notion with some words of wisdom that are familiar to every UT fan—with a caveat.

“Mack Brown said to his team in 2005 [after winning the NCAA football championship], ‘Don’t let this be the greatest thing that ever happened in your life.’ Fields said. “Well you can let it be one of them, and it’s gonna be one of them.”

Fields then reflected on that 2012 championship as an indicator of future success for both Spieth and some current members of the team, though he didn’t name them individually.

“Even when I think about it today, [there was] 40 years between national championships, and there were some great players: Mark Brooks, Justin Leonard, Harrison Frazer, Bob Estes, and it didn’t happen,” Fields said. “It did happen in 2012. That’s why I think this guy and a few other guys on the team are gonna do something really, really, really, really, really special in golf. Because Ben and Tom [Crenshaw and Kite] did.”

Looking to the future, Fields also commented on the state of UT Golf and how Spieth’s unexpected ascent this weekend elevates the program.

“We’re definitely on an upward trajectory right now,” Coach Fields said. “I don’t take that lightly and I’m very appreciative of it. We’re working just as hard today, maybe harder.”

Photo by Anna Donlan.


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