WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS - Jordan Spieth, the 19-year-old wonder who already owns a top-25 finish in a major, has one bit of unfinished business left this season - he's still trying to qualify for the season-ending FedExCup playoffs that begin in late August.
To do that, Spieth, who finished in a tie for 23rd Sunday, needs to win one of the events that precede the playoffs. So he plans to be accordingly aggressive when he gets the chance.
"Definitely, there's no decision now,'' he said during Sunday's rain delay. "If it's not a win, it doesn't do a whole lot for me. I'm fine with that.
"These [other] guys are playing great golf, [so] it's a lot to ask. I just have to keep my head down and be aggressive. That's how it's going to be.''
The two-time U.S. Amateur champion, who was 21st in the 2012 U.S. Open, has already earned full-time status on the PGA Tour.
Spieth, who spent some time this week fly fishing with brother Steven at The Greenbrier resort (a graduation present for Steven), said he still has other things to shoot for this season.
"I wouldn't really say I have expectations,'' he said, "but I have goals for the rest of the year. One is to make the PGA Championship, and I have to work hard to do that. Last week was a great step forward for that [sixth place in the AT&T National].
"I've got a chance to play in another major, a great chance for me to learn from the best players in the world.''
Weather or not
The horn sounded at 1:50 p.m. for Sunday's weather delay, and the large videoboard on the 18th hole flashed the following message: "Dangerous weather in area; seek shelter immediately.''
That prompted thousands of spectators to march off the course and head for the nearest safe haven.
Spieth, tied for fourth at the start of Sunday's final round, hadn't even played one entire hole. He was facing a 60-foot putt on No. 1 when the horn blew.
"Mentally, you don't think much about it,'' Spieth said of the unscheduled break. "It's unfortunate to hit when it did, but it's kind of nice hitting really early [for me] than on 10 or 11. You just go out and start over. Go out and warm up, make it like nothing happened.''
At 3:08, a large rumble of thunder echoed through the hills surrounding the clubhouse. Then came more heavy rain. Play didn't resume until 5 p.m., and a steady rain began falling soon after before the skies cleared.
Sean Payton, the New Orleans Saints coach who caddied this week for Ryan Palmer, said he came away with a renewed appreciation for PGA players and those who tote their bags.
"Certainly, it's a grind,'' Payton said, "just in regard to what these guys have to do - the mental approach, the mental focus to making shots. You go through it for four days, and it's pretty impressive.''
Palmer, who finished the tournament at even par 280 after shooting 1-over 71 on Sunday, enjoyed having his buddy Payton around for the week.
"It's more relaxed,'' Palmer said. "You have fun, but you find yourself grinding a little harder, too. I used his yardage [calculations] a couple of times and it worked out pretty good.
"I made a few mistakes here and there, but what can you say? To have someone like this at your side for a round of golf is pretty cool.''
Tom terrific again
Venerable Tom Watson again showed the PGA youngsters what a good round is all about.
The 63-year-old Watson, The Greenbrier's pro emeritus and an ambassador for the resort, shot a 3-under 67 and finished the week at 4-under 276. He needed only 22 putts in Sunday's round.
"A lot of positives,'' Watson said about his week, "[especially] the long irons.''
If he had putted better earlier this week, Watson thinks he could have gone even lower as he made the cut for a second straight year.
"The greens were like rocks the first year,'' Watson said, "but they're very tough now. A lot of times, the greens play very small because of the contours. You've got to use some imagination - that's how C.B. Macdonald designed it.''