Jordan Spieth figured it couldn’t hurt. He’d heard an old country club adage that a shadow may help a ball hanging on the edge of a cup fall in.
Spieth found himself in that position on No. 12 on Friday at the Fort Worth Invitational at Colonial Country Club. He knocked a 16-foot birdie putt that appeared would drop in the hole only to see it linger on the edge.
"If I would’ve been able to yell to get it to drop I would have," Spieth said, smiling. "The wind was blowing that direction too. I’m thinking, man, if it just picks up just a little bit, this thing will tip in."
Asked if he knew about the "shadow" theory, Spieth said: "That’s the old country club trick – the grass will die faster. I’ve never seen it actually work, but I figure it couldn’t hurt. I did get around there, put the shadow on it. I just tried to look down at it to see if it was actually moving because you can’t hit it while it’s moving."
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The rules of golf also state that “when any part of the ball overhangs the lip of the hole, the player is allowed enough time to reach the hole without unreasonable delay and an additional ten seconds to determine whether the ball is at rest.”
Either way, it became a frustrating tap-in par for Spieth.
"That one teased me. That one started to dip in and then dipped back out," Spieth said. "It was like saying, 'No, no, not yet. We’re not going to start dropping for you yet.' "
Spieth had another disappointing birdie attempt lip out on the next hole, the par-3 13th. Spieth almost aced it and found himself with a little over three-feet for birdie.
He felt he hit a solid putt on the right edge, but it broke harder than expected.
"I hit a great putt and it dove off the hole," Spieth said. "It was a wicked breaker from about four feet. I really didn’t want to go outside the hole, given the wind was kind of in and stopping and in and then stopping. It’ll affect that putt by almost half a cup depending on what gust."
Spieth finished his day with a 2-under 68 and is 3-under for the tournament, tied for 34th. He enters the weekend seven shots back of leader Justin Rose (10-under).
Even with the near misses for birdie, Spieth feels good about his putting stroke. He made a 14-footer for birdie on No. 10, calling it his longest putt made since the Masters in early April.
He closed his round with a birdie, too, knocking his approach from 137 to within three feet.