The 2017 Open Championship at Royal Birkdale Golf Club was the last time we saw former Texas Longhorns great Jordan Spieth hold up a trophy as a golf champion.
A full 1,351 days later, Spieth was once again standing in front of the gallery as a champion, this time in his home state of Texas, at the Valero Texas Open at TPC San Antonio.
“I feel grateful,” Spieth said after the win. "It's been a road that's had a lot of tough days.''
It was a banner day for Spieth, who entered Sunday’s final round tied for the lead with Matt Wallace at 12-under par. By the turn of his final round, Spieth was 15-under and had a two-shot lead.
After that, Spieth was on his way to a final-round 66, shooting the seventh-best total tournament score of his 9-year career with a -18, en route to his 12th career win.
Following the victory, the 27-year-old opened up about his win, and how his inner circle helped keep him on the path back to success, even when that path seemed insurmountable.
Said Spieth: "I've had people in my corner that have always believed in me even when I've kind of believed less in myself. I just feel a lot of gratitude to those who have helped me kind of get back here."
Spieth's support system is a tight-knit one, consisting of his parents, Shawn and Chris, his caddy, Michael Greller, and his three closest friends, Eric Leyendecker, Hays Myers and Blaine Simmons.
Each member of that group, which has been in his corner at every turn since he turned pro in 2012, has played a role in Spieth's success throughout his decorated career, which already includes three Major championships.
However, there is another member of that inner circle that has become the centerpiece of Spieth's success -- His wife, Annie Verret.
"My wife has been just a rock to me," Spieth continued. "This is my first win since we've been married so it's been progressing this way since maybe December. Before that, there were a lot of tough times. When you're struggling at work, you try not to bring it home and that kind of stuff. I'm very grateful for the people I have around me."
Spieth and Verrett have been married since 2018, but have been together since their high school days in Dallas, where Jordan attended Jesuit College Preparatory School, and Annie attended Ursuline Academy.
However, the life of a professional golfer's wife is not as easy as it may appear. It requires long hours of travel, tremendous amounts of support, and often, a lot of time alone.
Unsurprisingly, in the midst of his slump, Verrett was ready to support Jordan in any way that he needed, even if it meant being apart from her decade-long significant other for longer than either of them truly wanted.
"She’s just given me a lot of space,'' he said. "I’ve asked, I’ve said, 'Look, I’m going to have to put some long hours in, even longer than when you’ve known me before. This is what I want right now. We don’t have a family yet and I really want to get back to playing consistent golf and just being me and playing with freedom.'
"She’s just been that person that said, 'Whatever you need to do, I’m here to support you, let me know how I can help, let me know when too much is too much, let me know when it’s not enough.' She’s been really unbelievable.”
And as she has always been since those high school days, Verett was right there to support Jordan as he walked off of the 18th green to pick up his trophy.
“She got me emotional there on 18, seeing her emotionally running up,” Spieth said. “I mean, I can pinpoint a number of different moments where I’ve been in a bad place, and then I can picture some moments where I’ve been just talking so positively to her coming home and having her just help progress that forward."
Now Spieth, with Verrett and the rest of his inner circle still at his back, will march forward to Augusta, where golf's most prestigious American championship, the Masters, awaits him.
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