SAN DIEGO (AP) – Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas have known each other since they were 14 and were picked to represent the United States in the Evian Junior Masters in France. Their families have stayed in each other's houses during tournaments. Spieth and Thomas often stay together on the road.
Thomas might be three months older, but he's still a PGA Tour rookie.
Spieth, already a Ryder Cup veteran starting his third year on tour, had no choice but to remind him of that at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
There are only 75 or so parking spots for players at the TPC Scottsdale clubhouse lot. Spieth had one as the No. 9 player in the world. Thomas had to valet his car in another lot as a sponsor's exemption.
Thomas jokingly told Spieth he would take his spot, and when Thomas arrived for early practice Wednesday, he couldn't resist.
"I wouldn't do it to anyone else, but obviously I was going to park in his spot," Thomas said. "I shouldn't have told him I was going to do it, because then he wouldn't have known it was me."
Instead, Thomas sent him a Snapchat of his car in Spieth's parking spot with this message: "This is what happens when you get into a tournament late. You have to compromise."
"I'm not going to be outdone by a rookie," Spieth said. "When I arrived, I decided to tip the valet guys and tell them, 'My buddy is trying to mess with me. Can we tow his car out of here? Can you put my car in there and not mention it and tow his somewhere else?' There's always an extra set of keys (for courtesy cars), so they got the keys and took his car three lots over."
Thomas practiced in the morning and was ready to leave, which became a problem when he got to the parking lot.
"I saw my car wasn't there and I was like, 'He seriously towed my car,'" Thomas said.
Spieth was playing in the pro-am, so he didn't see until later a string of text messages sent by Thomas, each one sounding a little more desperate.
"Where is my car?"
"What did you do?"
"Are you serious? I need my car."
"Jay said it's at the Hilton. What are you doing to me?"
That would be Jay Danzi, Spieth's agent, whom Thomas finally found in the clubhouse. Danzi innocently told Thomas not to worry because his car had been taken back to the Hilton in downtown Phoenix about 20 miles away. Except that Thomas was staying only a mile away in a house.
"He had me going. ... I just wanted to leave," Thomas said. "He eventually told me the guys moved it to one of the other parking lots. I came over and the head valet guy is smiling at me. I said, 'Can you please get my car?'"
So maybe that's what Thomas was talking about Friday evening when asked about how fun it was to be on tour with Spieth, "just as a friend and as a peer that we get to hang out and be 21-year-olds."
This was their first tournament together as PGA Tour members.
Spieth, 1 up.
"He was in a panic attack for a few hours, so that was worth it," Spieth said.
And Thomas said he has learned his lesson and won't park in Spieth's spot the next time. Then again, they're staying together this week at the Farmers Insurance Open.
"I've got a whole week to plan something," Thomas said.
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This article was written by Doug Ferguson from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.