Jordan Spieth prepares for PGA Tour debut

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by GEORGE RIBA

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WFAA

Posted on May 17, 2010 at 6:34 PM

Updated Monday, May 17 at 8:46 PM

IRVING  — It didn't take long for Jordan Spieth to find out that the HP Byron Nelson Championship is a little different than the tournaments he's played in before.

"Unbelievable hospitality," Spieth said Monday before a pro am round. "It really is special and the guys I’ve met so far are just great guys."

Spieth is a 16 year old high school student at Dallas Jesuit who is the reigning US Junior Amateur champion. His exemption makes him the youngest to ever play in the tournament.

"I just welcomed him and I said just have fun out here and enjoy yourself, and take it easy on us old guys out there," says Pro Golfer Billy Mayfair.

His former high school teammate, Kyle Baginski, will caddie for him this week.

"It's going to be awesome it's going to be an honor," Baginski says. "It's kind of cool. We're out here and they're treating us like royalty."

Colt Knost was the last amateur to play in the tournament four years ago, but he was 21. Tiger Woods was 17 when he played here in 1993.

"It'll be a first which is always interesting, always fun," says Jordan's father Shawn Spieth. "It's a great opportunity to see how he stacks up and still feel so blessed that he's got the opportunity."

This promises to be quite a month for Spieth. Last week, he shared medalist honors at the Class 5A state championship, this week h makes his PGA tour debut as an amateur, and next week he has finals so he can wrap up his junior year at Dallas Jesuit.

"It's amazing and it's great to see that Jesuit is producing kids like this, says Mike Cleary who played with Spieth during Monday's pro am.

"I've always wanted my first one to be here," says Spieth. "I got my exemption to St. Jude before I learned that I was going to be playing here and getting that call and find out that I was going to make my debut, my first tour event stop in my home town, it's really going to be something special.

It should be a week he will never forget.

E-mail griba@wfaa.com

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