Top-ranked Spieth commits to Texas
Jordan Spieth, the No. 1 player in the Golfweek Junior Rankings, told Golfweek that he has committed to join coach John Field’s team at the University of Texas.
Spieth, 16, of Dallas, had narrowed his choices down to Texas and Oklahoma State, but said that he had “pretty much made my decision around Christmas time.” (His original list also included Stanford, USC and UCLA.)
A few days before Christmas, Spieth watched the Texas men’s basketball team beat Michigan State before a packed house at the Frank Erwin Center. Before the game, Spieth got to hang out with the Longhorns in the locker room and speak with head basketball coach Rick Barnes.
“It was an unreal experience,” he said.
But Spieth said he recently took another unofficial visit to Oklahoma State to make sure that he was positive with his choice.
“I felt like I owed that to OSU,” said Spieth, the 2009 U.S. Junior champ and AJGA Rolex Player of the Year.
“It’s pretty hard to tell the No. 1 program in the country that you’re not going there, but in the end it’s a selfish decision. ... My heart has always been with Texas, and you just have to follow your heart. Everyone says that but it’s true.”
Spieth, currently a junior at Jesuit College Preparatory School in Dallas, will only be a three-hour drive from his family and swing coach Cameron McCormick, also of Dallas.
He said it was difficult to ignore the Longhorns’ passion that had been “ingrained into my head” by friends and alumni for years.
“It takes a toll on you,” Spieth said. “I guarantee if I was born in Oklahoma it might be a different story.”
It’s a recurring theme at Texas, however. Current Longhorns freshman Cody Gribble, also of Dallas and No. 8 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, grew up in a UT-crazy family and verbally committed to Texas as a freshman.
Spieth called the recruiting process “a lot of fun” and “just an unbelievable experience” but also said he was relieved to have made his decision public.
“It feels like something just got lifted off my chest,” he said. “It got a little tiring. I was pretty anxious to get a decison, but my parents made sure I was patient instead of being rash about it.”
“It’s a pretty big decision to make when you’re 16.”
Spieth’s upcoming schedule includes the AJGA’s HP Boys Championship (Feb. 12-15), the Azalea Invitational (March 25-28) and the PGA Tour’s HP Byron Nelson Championship (May 20-23), where he will play on a sponsor exemption.