One year ago, a couple of us wandered out to the ninth green at Torrey Pines’ North Course on Thursday afternoon to ask Tour rookie Jordan Spieth about the even-par 72 he shot in his first tournament round as a professional.
Spieth had played virtually unnoticed.
“It wasn’t quite how I drew it up,” said Spieth, who had slipped into the field on a late opening after failing to Monday qualify.
Spieth got better from there.
Just a little.
One year later, Spieth was paired with Tiger Woods and Jimmy Walker in the featured grouping in the first two rounds of the Farmers Insurance Open. Spieth shot a solid 71 on the unforgiving South Course on Thursday.
Recalling his professional debut at Torrey Pines last January, before anyone knew he would become the youngest PGA Tour winner in 74 years and have nine top-10 finishes, Spieth remembered “freaking out a little bit.”
He’s so much older now.
“I was just nervous,” Spieth said Thursday. “I had played eight (PGA Tour) events as an amateur but it was different. I had turned pro and was playing for money.
“This year was a completely different story. I was anxious and pretty amped on the first tee.”