Schupak: Why a WD edged out playing Seminole, Jordan’s resurrection and Phil’s major moment at 50 as the highlight of my year

The highlight of my year was a WD.

I had to withdraw from covering the Players Championship on the morning of the first round when my wife went into labor. Norah Elayne Schupak said hello world at 5:39 a.m. on March 12, and she’s already been to the Valspar Championship, witnessed Phil Mickelson win the PGA Championship at Kiawah, and took her first ferry ride to Liberty National for the Northern Trust. We’ve already applied for her passport so she can fly across the pond for her first British Open at the Old Course in July.

Norah Schupak picked a pretty good first major to attend, witnessing Phil Mickelson become the oldest major champion at the PGA Championship in May.

The nine months since I missed seeing Justin Thomas carve up TPC Sawgrass in person has been a whirlwind and it’s hard to remember my life before changing diapers. But there were a few moments from the golf season that were unforgettable. Let’s begin on the Golf Channel set at the Waste Management Phoenix Open where I interviewed Brandel Chamblee and asked him the following question: Who gets back into the winner’s circle first: Justin Rose, Jason Day, or Jordan Spieth?

Chamblee’s response included this bulletin board material for The Golden Child: “Spieth is headed into oblivion,” Chamblee said. “That’s hard to turn that ship around.”

“Headed into oblivion” were words that nearly knocked me from my chair so I asked a follow-up question to which Chamblee elaborated. You can read his response and the full Q&A here. A matter of hours later Spieth teed off and shot the first of a pair of 67s. But it was Saturday’s magical third-round 61 in the desert that was my favorite round of the year and the ultimate middle finger to Chamblee. It was a hot-tub time machine moment back to when Jordan could seemingly do no wrong. Limited fans were in attendance but the cheers when he drained a pair of birdie putts of more than 30 feet at 16 and 17 made the hair stand on the back of my neck.

Spieth didn’t close the deal on Sunday, but he’d presented real proof that he was rising again like a Phoenix in Phoenix. I knew then that it was just a matter of time before he would end his winless drought (and he did in early April at the Valero Texas Open). The PGA Tour is simply a better product with Jordan doing Jordan things again.

In late April, I was one of the few reporters that stuck around to talk to Phil Mickelson after he missed the cut late on Friday at the Valspar Championship. He complained about a lack of concentration and blamed cell phones ringing and cameramen moving for his inability to focus. His frustration was visible and he had more questions than answers about

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By: Adam Schupak
Title: Schupak: Why a WD edged out playing Seminole, Jordan's resurrection and Phil's major moment at 50 as the highlight of my year
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Published Date: Tue, 28 Dec 2021 12:00:26 +0000

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