Jordan Spieth was finishing up a call and heading for the cart that would whisk him away from the course when a young worker stepped in and asked him to pose for a picture. Spieth put his arm around the boy's waist and gently moved him out of harm's way -- another cart was approaching quickly from the rear -- and then handed the phone to his agent, Jay Danzi, who took the side-by-side photo of the player and this really lucky fan.
Moments later that fan's luck ran out when he was chastised by a tournament superior for ignoring prior instructions and bothering a competitor at The Open.
The world-famous golfer was more willing than the kid's boss to cut the kid a break. Of course, very few people who have come in contact with Jordan Alexander Spieth would be terribly surprised by that.
Though Spieth might have lost some of his innocence over time with his tee-to-green struggles and rants -- some directed at himself, some at his caddie -- he still stands among the most agreeable and thoughtful players on tour. He is not yet 26 and already gets it. You can be a nice guy while still raging against Leo Durocher's claim that nice guys are destined to finish last.
As a competitor, Spieth's determination and grit have honored that of the legend he was named after -- Michael Jordan. He had no problem ripping the heart out of friend Matt Kuchar's chest during that 13th-hole passion play at Royal Birkdale two years ago; if necessary, Jordan, the old North Carolina Tar Heel, would have run Dean Smith's four-corner offense on Kuchar, too. Spieth did what he had to do to take the Claret Jug from Kuchar and make it his own.
My game is in a different place than it was then. And I'm working to get it back to where it was then. But anytime in an Open Championship that I'm in contention, I feel good about the potential of being able to make a run at it Saturday and Sunday.
That's why he should be considered a lethal threat over the next 36 holes at The Open despite his two-year victory drought, his almost comical weekend failures and his admission Friday that he still isn't hitting the ball worth a spit. Spieth's fire, and Spieth's faith, are his best friends as he moved into second-round contention following his 4-under 67.
His fire was obvious in becoming the youngest man to ever win the Masters and U.S. Open in the same year, and in claiming his third major title four days before his 24th birthday; Tiger Woods was six months older when he won his third. His faith was evident Friday when asked if his Birkdale muscle memory would help him Saturday and Sunday, even though he isn't hitting the ball anywhere close to where he hit it in 2017.
"Yeah, I think it's something very important to draw back on," Spieth answered. "I think I need to be looking at the positives of the history of this tournament, and my history in major championships, versus focusing on anything else.
"If I can walk tall knowing that there's very few people who have been in this situation contending in the weekend in majors as many times as I have, that's certainly a confidence boost for myself. So that's going to be the mentality."