CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- The easier decision Jordan Spieth could have made would have been this:
"I'm really sorry, Zach. My life's become so chaotic, and I'm under so much scrutiny everywhere I go now. I really need to channel my time and focus toward getting ready for the British Open. It's best for me if I pass on coming back to your event in Iowa."
Many in Spieth's position would have made that call, and you really couldn't have blamed them. When someone wins the Masters and the U.S. Open in the same year, they're breathing rarefied air and a lot of people want to share that airspace.
But Spieth, who appeared at last year's Zach Johnson Foundation Classic, approached Johnson in April to say he'd like to make another swing through Elmcrest Country Club for this year's ZJFC. He never wavered on that pledge.
"Jordan actually mentioned that he wanted to come back to my event," Johnson said. "I truly didn't have to ask or urge him to play. This was all just after the Masters. He has stayed committed since. He mentioned how much fun he had last year and cannot wait to come back to Iowa."
In its five-year history, the ZJFC has done a good job of getting top professional golfers with sterling resumes, starting with the host himself and his 11 PGA Tour victories that include a Masters triumph. This year's field is easily its deepest and best, with world-class players that include Jason Day, Billy Horschel and Jason Dufner.
But to have the reigning Masters and U.S. Open champion, the man who has been on two Sports Illustrated covers in the last three months, the talk of golf? That doesn't require a lot of selling for Johnson's event. Jordan Spieth's here. Enough said.
Yes, it's taken this long into the story to mention Spieth is 21 years old. And you can't read a story about him without seeing references to his unusual maturity and poise for his age, on and off the course. So that's duly noted here, now.
Maybe it's that maturity that has him coming to Cedar Rapids and then the Quad Cities for the John Deere Classic when many would suggest he should instead get over to Scotland early to prepare for the British Open at St. Andrews next week, the third leg of golf's Grand Slam.
But Spieth didn't get to Augusta National for the Masters or Chambers Bay for the U.S. Open much earlier than he'll be arriving at St. Andrews. He seems to know what works for him.
Had Spieth not won either major, he would still be having a sensational year. In 17 PGA Tour events this season, he has three wins, three second-places, a third-place, a fourth-place and two ties for seventh. He has 3,128 FedExCup points. That's almost as many as any two players on the Tour combined.
So, yes. Phenom. Here. Today.
This article was written by Mike Hlas from The Gazette, Cedar Rapids, Iowa and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.