Read 16-year-old Jordan Spieth's letter that earned him an exemption into the 2010 Byron Nelson

Today, Jordan Spieth is one of the biggest names on the PGA Tour.

The 24-year-old is a three-time major winner, has won 11 times on the PGA Tour and is the 2015 FedExCup champion.

Back in 2010, though, Spieth was just 16 years old and fighting to even make his way onto a PGA Tour event.

In January 2010, Spieth wrote an incredibly convincing letter to AT&T Byron Nelson tournament chairman George Conant asking for a sponsor exemption so he could play in the tournament — which is held in his hometown of Dallas.

“As a Dallas native, I have dreamed of playing in this event ever since my dad took me to watch when I was 8,” Spieth wrote. “I can remember Phil Mickelson hitting a ball right at us on #2 just left of the green. The ball landed about 10 feet in front of us in the left rough.

“Phil approached us and asked me if the ball he spotted was his. I told him yes and my dad asked if we needed to move. He said ‘No, but please stay very still while I hit the shot.’ We did and he pitched it right next to the cup for an easy tap-in save. Phil turned and smiled at us and said ‘Thanks for being so still.’ That was the closest I’d ever been to see a PGA pro hit a shot, and it has stuck with me ever since.”


The letter worked, and Spieth got to play in his first-ever PGA Tour event — and a pretty successful one at that. Spieth shot a 4-under and finished tied for 16th.

And from there, his career took off.

Spieth will return to the AT&T Byron Nelson this weekend at the Trinity Forest Golf Club in Dallas. This time, though, he’s probably hoping for a better finish than his first-ever professional tournament.

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