“Everything the light touches is our kingdom.”
Step aside Mufasa, there’s a new ‘Lion King’ in town after Jordan Spieth became the new ruler of Quail Hollow Club.
Everything the three-time major winner touched turned to gold at the 14th Presidents Cup in Charlotte, North Carolina, as Spieth won all five of his matches to inspire his American team to a ninth straight title.
In doing so, the 29-year-old became just the sixth player in Presidents Cup history to win five points at a single event, and the first American since Jim Furyk in 2011.
As Spieth partnered with Justin Thomas for the opening four rounds of team matches, the duo swept International pairs that featured Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama and Adam Scott to help open up a four-point lead heading into Sunday’s singles match-ups.
No American partnership had won four in a row at the tournament since Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker in 2009, a feat sweetened by the childhood friendship of Thomas and Spieth.
And when your teammate’s only complaint is that you left him almost nothing to putt, you’ve probably had pretty good round.
“I played two matches, and I hit 10 putts. I think that’s pretty absurd,” Thomas told reporters Saturday.
“I legitimately think I picked my coin up more than I hit putts, so yeah, my partner’s pretty good.”
After a royal display of putting, it was only fitting then that Spieth marked his arrival at the first tee Sunday with a Lion King tribute.
Picking up his son Sammy from wife Annie, Spieth lofted the ear-muff sporting toddler above his head in a near-perfect rendition of the opening scenes of the 1994 Disney classic to the roaring delight of the Presidents Cup crowd.
“That was super cool,” Spieth said. “He’s finally old enough to just be looking around and taking it all in and being interested in everything.
“He loves the ear muffs, luckily, because it’s been loud out here.”
Despite his new status as the ‘Lion King,’ Spieth teed off against Australia’s Cameron Davis with a self-proclaimed monkey on his back: incredibly, Spieth had never won a singles match at the Presidents Cup or Ryder Cup.
Having lost three successive Presidents Cup singles bouts from 2013 through 2017, Spieth was not picked for the 2019 event which saw Woods inspire a dramatic American fightback. Three years on, the absence still stings.
“It sucked,” Spieth said ahead of this year’s Cup. “I remember it was a really tough spot.
“I hated every second of it because I know how fun they are and I know how beneficial these weeks are, these matches, for individually how you’re going to play the next year.”
Four straight birdies after the turn saw Spieth end his drought in decisive fashion against Davis, as his 4 & 3 win secured the American team’s first singles point of the day.
“I was more nervous than I probably should have been today just because I want to get that monkey off my back,” he said.
“It feels really good. When you go out early as I’ve done pretty much every team event on a Sunday, they’re looking for red on the board, and it feels good to finally provide that.”
Hours later, Xander Schauffele rolled home to seal the team’s 17.5 – 12.5 victory, sparking jubilant celebrations on the 18th hole.
Champagne was poured into the Cup before, for the second time that day, Spieth lifted a crowd favorite aloft.
“When you get to do it [compete] collectively, representing your country with some of the best players in the world … you just can’t put a price on it,” Spieth said.
“There’s really nothing that’s more enjoyable.”