The Jordan Spieth comeback story continues this week at Bay Hill Club and Lodge.
And it keeps getting better. Making his Arnold Palmer Invitational debut, Spieth aced the par-3, 223-yard second hole.
With a ball speed of 139 miles per hour and an apex of 69 feet, his 5-iron at one of the 50 toughest holes on the PGA Tour last season landed on the front right edge of the fringe, kicked left and rolled some 50 feet right into the heart of the hole.
Spieth high-fived caddie Michael Greller and knocked knuckles with competitor Justin Rose.
“I was trying to peel it left to right to hold the wind and land it a little right of the hole,” Spieth said. “I hit it a little thin but it was right on the line I wanted and knowing that the grass was wet, you get some skid, I thought in the air it was going to be pretty good. Certainly not as good as it was. But I just wanted kind of one hop, because I just mishit it slightly, and a lot of times those are the ones that that happens, your perfect shots don’t go in, but then sometimes the ones where it’s unexpected. So, that was cool. That was obviously a really cool moment.”
Cool, indeed. It had been 13 years since anyone had made a hole-in-one at the second hole at Bay Hill during the tournament and was just the fifth ace at the hole since 1979. For Spieth, it marked his third ace on Tour.
He previously made an ace in the third round of the Puerto Rico Open and the second round of the 2015 BMW Championship at the second hole at Conway Farms in Chicago.
Spieth started the day at 5 under and already was off to a great start, holing a 19-foot birdie putt. But after the birdie-eagle start, Spieth smother-hooked his tee shot into the water at the third. He took a penalty, dropped, hit to 32 feet and drained the putt for an improbable par to remain 8 under, and it would only get wilder.
Quite the start to the third round for the three-time major champion who is searching for his first victory since the 2017 British Open.
Spieth finished his third round alone. His Saturday playing competitor, Justin Rose, withdrew after posting a nine on the par-4 third hole, due to back spasms.