(Reuters) - Jordan Spieth’s caddie urged fans not to feel sorry for the Masters runner-up on Wednesday despite his final-round meltdown at Augusta.
Michael Greller paid tribute to the dignified way Spieth has behaved throughout his brief career, including throwing away a five-shot lead and virtually handing the Green Jacket to Englishman Danny Willett on Sunday.
“A wise coach reminded me recently, winning shows your character and losing shows ALL your character. Jordan continues to model grace and humility through wins and especially losses,” Greller wrote on Facebook.
“The 2016 Masters stung … We have received an outpouring of support and thoughtful messages. But don’t feel sorry or sad for us. We won’t get stuck in this moment, nor should you. We will work harder, fight harder and be better for it. We will bounce back as we have done many times.”
Greller recalled that Spieth, in a quarter-final of the 2011 U.S. Amateur Championship, conceded a putt of more than two feet at the final hole to gift his opponent Jack Senior victory.
“Rather than run to the locker-room and escape the scene, he stuck around and thanked his friends who had followed him,” Greller wrote.
“There was no panic, anger or sadness. Jordan didn’t want sympathy after that U.S. Amateur loss. His self-belief and character never wavered. A couple weeks later Jordan defeated Jack in singles at the Walker Cup.
“Not even five years after that Erin Hills loss, he has won nine times around the world. Two majors. One Fed Ex Cup Title. Been #1 golfer on the planet. Two President’s Cup teams. One Ryder Cup team. A future Olympian.”
Greller tried to put the Masters result in perspective, reminding people that it was just a sporting contest.
“This isn’t life and death stuff," he said.
"There are far greater struggles that exist in this world than not winning The Masters. We are beyond blessed to do what we do.”
(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina, editing by Ed Osmond)