Extreme heat has been the norm for much of the country this summer, but conditions are absolutely sweltering in Memphis this week.
According to the PGA Tour’s meteorologist, temperatures hit 94 degrees on Friday at TPC Southwind, with a heat index of 110 — a record for the season. It’s so hot that Harris English’s caddie, Eric Larson, had to receive medical treatment halfway through the round, and a spectator took over as English’s bagman. English described it as the hottest weather he’s ever encountered.
“I grew up in south Georgia and this is the hottest, muggiest day I’ve ever had on the golf course,” he said.Tournament leader Lucas Glover estimates he drank a bottle of water per hole. And he’s looking out for his caddie, too.“I told [my caddie] on the 12th tee, I said, I know you don’t like to, but I need you to drink some water today for me,” Glover said after his round. “Then walking off the 2nd tee, I go, you still sweating? He goes, yeah, why? I said, just making sure. He goes, you don’t have to worry about me. I said, well, I kind of do, and I’m going to.”
Jordan Spieth, who is one shot behind Glover’s lead, said after his round that the heat affected his decision-making ability on the course.“I just kind of felt like I was foggy in some of my decisions,” he said. “Like I kind of felt like, man, what was I thinking hitting that club there when I could have hit this one. Like I was trying to — I just stepped up, grabbed a club, and I was so worried about it being dry and then all of a sudden I’m over the ball and I’m like, what am I doing here.
“I had a couple of those that — specifically on No. 12 and No. 15, a couple wedge shots from the fairway that both went long left when I could have taken some spin off and hit it lower,” he continued. “But that was kind of it. Everybody is dealing with it. I just got a little lazy with my decisions today.”When pressed on the topic of his decision-making, Spieth dug a bit deeper.
“No. 3 was probably one of the worst decisions I made,” he said. “Michael was all over, this isn’t the shot, this isn’t the shot, and I was like, I think I can pull this one off. And then I hit it, and I’m like, yeah, I can’t really hook that out of this rough into this wind. After that I was like, all right, if I just — I’m playing well enough. Just stop making the bad decisions and we’ll go under par from here. So it was nice to be 1-under from there even though it was a weird way of getting there.”
A Texas native, Spieth is no stranger to hot weather, but he said Friday’s conditions were especially difficult.“My shirt made me weigh five more pounds today,” he said. “I’m humbled. It’s just a different kind of heat. But it felt like it was just coming off the ground. Like you could just feel the water coming off the ground. I’ll bring two shirts from now on and change at the turn because that was — I was struggling a bit early in the round. I had some goosebumps — it was something that shouldn’t happen. I just was taken aback a little bit.”
A heat advisory remains in effect on Saturday, and there appears to be no respite on the horizon. Saturday has an expected high temperature of 91 and a “feels like” index of 105-109 degrees.