Caddie Michael Greller noticed something about the standard bearer Thursday. It was Trevor Jenks, one of Greller’s former University Place students.
“I looked up and there’s Trevor, who I gave detention to back four years ago,” Greller said in a press conference shortly after Jordan Spieth had clinched the U.S. Open. “He’s actually one of my favorite kids, but I had to put down the Greller fist.”
Jenks, who just finished his freshman year at Curtis High School, got to carry the standard bearer in his former teacher’s group on Thursday.
Another one of Greller’s former students, Ashley Hillis, carried it Friday. William Rankin of Leawood, Kansas, carried it Saturday, and Anthony Parr, who just finished his freshman year at Puyallup High School, carried it Sunday when the 21-year-old Spieth made his run at the U.S. Open championship with at 5-under 275.
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Jenks and Hillis were just some of the familiar faces Greller said he noticed throughout the week at Chambers Bay, where he used to be a caddie and married his wife, Ellie.
“You know, something that was incredible … all week, starting Monday, our standard bearer was a girl (Hillis) I coached as a freshman. She’s a senior now,” Greller said. “She’s just the same. It was so cool.”
Jenks’ father, Curtis High School athletic director Terry Jenks, was the standard bearer volunteer coordinator for the U.S. Open in charge of 120 standard bearers, all 15-20 years old.
Fifty were from the University Place school district and 30 from First Tee of Tacoma, Terry Jenks said. Eight of them were Curtis High boys golfers and six were Curtis girls golfers.
So what if Terry Jenks plugged a couple UP students as the standard bearer in Spieth’s group?
“I may have helped give some of our kids priority,” Jenks said. “But it’s in University Place, so I didn’t feel bad about that.”
As for the detention the then-sixth-grader Trevor Jenks got?
“One of the only times he was disruptive in class, messing around in Greller’s classroom, as to the point where it was a real disruption to the classroom environment,” Terry Jenks said. “And it wasn’t respectful to Mr. Greller. As a parent, I was really appreciative that bad behavior has consequences.”
Trevor Jenks, who was on the Curtis water polo and boys soccer teams this past school year, said Spieth signed a golf ball and gave it to him after Thursday’s round.
“He said ‘Thank you’ and then took a pen and said, ‘Sorry you had to have Michael as a teacher,” Trevor said.
And to see Spieth win Sunday?
“Just really surreal,” Trevor said.
Said Terry Jenks: “The golfers treated the kids so well. Everybody came away with a signed ball or signed glove. They really appreciated it. That was really cool to be part of the event and for the golfers to treat the kids that way.”