Jordan Spieth was saved from the water by a fan.
Not in the literal sense, of course. But Spieth's drive on his final hole of the day at the Players Championship on Friday was headed for the water hazard until it struck a fan in the knee and took a lucky bounce onto the fairway.
Spieth, who at the time of his water-bound shot was 2-over par and in need of a birdie to improve his chances of making the cut, then capitalized on the drop-denying deflection. He placed his second shot on the 587-yard ninth hole at TPC Sawgrass just off the green and then chipped in for eagle to finish at even par and make the cut.
So, his score, his weekend plans and his paycheck all changed thanks to a spectator standing in the right place at the right time. Or, from the perspective of that spectator who will like have a badly bruised knee, the wrong place at the wrong time.
“I got an extremely lucky break on 9 or I wouldn't be playing the weekend,” Spieth told reporters after the round. “Trying to get that guy’s information and see literally whatever he wants this weekend because everything from here on out is because it hit him.”
Spieth did give the spectator a glove and a handshake...
“It was going in one of the waters, and I get it hit the cart path and short-hopped off the guy's knee and then went out in the fairway forward, as well, and it must have been -- the way for it to go off of him, it also then went off his knee, up in the air, over some of the water," Spieth said. "I mean, it's the equivalent of flying a green towards a hazard and hitting a grandstand and coming back on the green in a way.”
Spieth finished 3-over 75 on the day after shooting a 3-under 69 in the first round on Thursday. He'll enter the weekend trailing the leader by at least six strokes - with the current leader in the clubhouse being Ben Griffin, who is 6-under.
So, to get into contention, Spieth might need a few more lucky breaks.