In a rare instance of appearing as human as the rest of us, Jordan Spieth, the world’s No. 1 ranked golfer these last four months, talked of regret on Friday after responding to criticism of his game on social media following his opening-round 76 at the Valspar Invitational in Palm Harbor, Florida.
An Instagram user on Thursday posted of Spieth, “If his putter is not working, he’s garbage. Every other aspect of his game is very average.”
Spieth, who won the Masters and the US Open last year, responded to the comment, typing: “Couldn’t be further from the truth troll. Go do research before hating.”
On Friday, Spieth, 22, addressed the tiff to the gathered media.
“You’ll probably never see me do that again because obviously it was seen and known and — just really frustrating,” he said. “There’s really not a point. I should never respond to any of that, just let it go and by the time the next tournament rolls around, no one even remembers it anyway.”
Since getting it off his chest, Spieth has played much better, finishing Saturday’s third round tied for ninth at 2-under, six strokes off the lead. The minor blow-up is part of an interesting trend for professional athletes in particular, and people under 30 in particular.
Born in 1993, Spieth has scarcely known a world without the Internet, and was in junior high when the likes of Facebook and Twitter became the ‘in’ way to communicate with other people. Having grown up with this sort of communication, it is tougher for athletes of a certain age to avoid responding to criticism that contemporaries 30 years ago would never have even been aware of, much less been able to directly respond to.