The reign of Jordan Spieth has arrived.
The domination of one Eldrick Tiger Woods is now in the past, and Jordan Spieth is the shining star golf has been looking for since that Thanksgiving night in 2009.
After Tiger was exposed as a serial cheater, and had a 3-iron slammed through his back windshield, golf has been looking for a face of the sport. One man that shines above all others; that when you turn on a golf tournament on a lazy Sunday afternoon, you know is going to be at the top of the leaderboard.
That man has finally emerged. He’s a soon to be 22 year old with a baby face and an already receding hairline. A thoroughbred Texan and a product of the University of Texas, Jordan Spieth is the American superstar that golf has wanted for almost 7 years. More than just that, there is a major difference between Spieth and his competitor for the role of golf’s “Next Big Thing” Rory McIlroy: Spieth is from Texas.
Texas is in America.
Texas is NOT in Northern Ireland.
It’s simple, Jordan Spieth is from the grand ole’ US of A. Golf fans and sports fans as a whole want the one man that reigns above all in golf to be an American-bred man. Fans don’t want the face of their sport to walk around with a heavy Irish accent. Fans want a man with a southern drawl and that’s draped in Red, White, and Blue when the biggest international Golf competition (The Ryder Cup) rolls around every other year. Spieth makes everyone feel like they have a horse in the race because he is from the heart of our country.
The American factor is not the only thing that Spieth has going for him. Spieth is a good guy and is extremely easy to root for. He’s never talked trash, he handles himself with complete class, and he hasn’t been involved in any scandals that made the front page of the New York Times.
The only thing that Spieth makes the front page for is his play.
Oh yeah, and winning majors.
Sunday’s US Open victory makes Jordan Spieth 2 for 2 in Majors this year. In April, Spieth became the 2nd youngest golfer, the youngest being Tiger of course, to win The Masters. Spieth was 21 years and 8 months old when he won the Green Jacket, and he tied the record for lowest score under par in the history of the tournament.
And I bet you’ll never guess who he tied. Ready for this? Tiger. Woods.
Spieth is running with the big boys now. He matched Tiger’s scoring record at Augusta and in one year has half as many majors as McIlroy has won in the past 4 years. McIlroy won his first major in 2011, the US Open at Congressional. Since then he’s picked up a PGA, a Claret Jug at the Open Championship, and another PGA Championship.
There is one thing that has evaded Rory that Jordan already has: a green jacket.
If you’re a golf fan, you know the struggles that Rory McIlroy has faced at The Masters. In 2011, McIlroy had the lead heading into Sunday but blew the 54 hole lead with a final round 80. In 2012, he shot a 5-over 77 on Saturday and fell out of contention, in 2013 he was never in contention, and in 2014 he finished in a tie for 8th but ended the tournament at even par.
Finally, in 2015, Rory made a serious run at the green jacket with a 6-under 66 on Sunday. But there was somebody that held Rory, and the rest of the field, off on that Sunday with a much needed, simple, and clutch 2-under 70. That man was Jordan Spieth. In that last round, the world watched as Spieth seemingly went about his business and finished off The Masters like it was just another round of golf. I mean seriously, watching Jordan go around that historic course on Sunday made me realize that golf may have finally found its guy.
Then there was Sunday at Chambers Bay. After a week of complaints by players, analysts, and even golf legend Gary Player calling it “one of the worst golf courses” he’s ever seen, Spieth went about his business and won his second major this year. He didn’t say a word about the conditions of the course, he made no complaints or excuses, Jordan Spieth just put his head down and grinded it out.
Yes, winning a major because your opponent (Dustin Johnson in this case) botches a 3-footer is not the way you want to win at all. Some people may say that Spieth “got lucky” or “had nothing to do with the victory.”
That claim is outlandish.
Take this into account. Spieth was holding a 3-stroke lead heading into the Par 3 17th. Being followed up the rear by the final group of Dustin Johnson and Jason Day, Spieth double bogeyed the hole and his lead was decreased to just one stroke over Johnson. Johnson answered with a birdie and the US Open was tied heading into the 72nd and final hole.
Yeah, there was some pressure.
So after losing a lead with a 5 on 17, Spieth headed up to 18 without even seeming shook. After the debacle that was the 71st hole, Spieth stepped up to his second shot on the Par 5 18th and hit a clutch shot to within 15 feet. Spieth’s putt for eagle was about 6 inches left of the hole, and he tapped in for birdie to finish at 5-under.
So get this: Spieth double bogeys 17 and sees his lead slip away, then steps up to 18 and birdies to get his lead back. That takes guts. He didn’t put his head down and get angry and botch the 18th hole. He got up, dusted himself off, and made the shot. That’s called heart, and it’s something that Spieth has and makes him the player he is.
Now it wasn’t over when Spieth birdied 18. Remember that Dustin Johnson was following right behind watching. One stroke down, Johnson hits a magical shot to about 12 feet and had that left for eagle.
Johnson’s 2nd shot was magical, his putting was not. Johnson put his first putt, from 12 feet, three feet past the hole. That putt could have won the US Open. His next putt was for birdie to send it for a 18 playoff on Monday.
The putt was from 3 feet away. Dustin Johnson missed the putt. Jordan Spieth had won the 2015 United States Open Championship.
Jordan Spieth looks to become the first person since, you guessed it, Tiger Woods, to win 3 majors in a year at the Open Championship in mid-July. He already won at the most iconic place in golf, The Masters, and now he heads to the birthplace of golf at St Andrews as he vies to make even more history.
Spieth is turning 22 years old this year and I have no doubts he can handle the pressure it takes to win his 3rd straight major. He is the one that golf has been looking for and he is finally here. Being the “Next Tiger Woods” is something that sports fans have been talking about for years now. People thought it was Rory McIlroy, and it may have been, but it’s not anymore. The reason is because Jordan Spieth has emerged. Jordan Spieth is the Next Tiger Woods, the next big thing, he is the next face of golf. He may even be the face of golf already.
One thing is for certain about Jordan Spieth: it’s his time
Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Ethan Budowsky