Watching a young kid named Rory McIlroy in 2007, Golf thought it was witnessing its first young phenomenon since the 21-year-old in a red Nike sweater slipped on the green jacket for the first time. Once considered the most brilliant “young gun of the game” with victories in the British Open and PGA Championship, Rory McIlroy has suddenly lost that youthful luster in the eyes of the golf world. Instead, all eyes are on a young kid from Dallas, Texas, who played for a Grand Slam in Monday’s round of 18. Jordan Spieth, who turns 22 next week, could have replaced McIlroy, statistically, at No. 1 with a win Monday at the British Open, and despite a fourth place finish, it seems inevitable as we look the young Texan’s career.
Jordan Spieth: The Bright Future of Golf
Born July 27, 1993 in Dallas Texas, Jordan Alexander Spieth won the U.S. Junior Amateur in 2009 and 2011, joining Tiger Woods as the only multiple winner. Before the age of 18, Spieth was ranked first in the Polo Golf Rankings. Spieth played collegiate golf for the University of Texas Longhorns where he was a member of the 2011 Walker Cup team. In his freshman year at Texas, Spieth led his team to an NCAA Championship victory. He was named to the All-Big 12 Team, Big 12 Freshman of the Year and Player of the Year, and he was also a first-team All-American. Halfway through his sophomore year at Texas, Spieth turned professional at the age of 19. From there, Spieth’s success skyrocketed. He reached his most recent pinnacle at the 2015 Masters where he set the record for most birdies (28) and became the second-youngest person to win the Masters.
Following the British Open, Spieth will go on to the PGA Championship in early August where he’s the favorite, despite finishing one stroke away from a three-man playoff at St. Andrews. Finishing fourth instead, a devastating upset for the 21-year-old who sought to become just the second player in the Masters Era to win the year’s first three majors in history.
While Spieth admitted how difficult the upset was, there’s no reason to believe the Texas native’s success will plateau from here. Instead, Spieth’s trophy gathering may have just begun.
First off, Jordan Spieth has been playing incredible golf the entire year, not just in short spurts, collecting 12 Top-10 finishes, a PGA best. In all, the 21-year old has collected two Major championships (US Open & Masters Tournament) as well as three other PGA Tournaments.
One of Jordan Spieth’s great assets as a golfer is his display of maturity, composure, and ice-water veins that is rarely seen in even the most veteran professionals, let alone someone getting ready to celebrate their 22nd birthday. He has the instinctive ability to maintain a championship mindset through losses and obstacles. We saw this positive mindset endure through his double-bogey on No. 8 in the final round of last weekend’s British Open.
Above all, Spieth’s ultra-competitor edge mixed with his sportsmanship is what labels his career most promising. It’s nearly impossible not to like the guy. As newly appointed Fox Sports Golf Announcer Joe Buck explained, “He plays golf and that’s great but he’s also the kind of kid you want to marry your daughter. He’s obviously a fierce competitor, but he’s got the other intangibles that some guys just don’t have.” He showed this character on Monday as he congratulated Zach Johnson on his British Open victory.
“He’s a really good friend of mine,” Johnson said to reporters. “Granted he’s 18 years younger than me, which puts things into perspective.
“I can’t describe the magnitude of what he was going through [pursuing the Grand Slam], because I’ve never been in that position and we haven’t really seen that, with the exception of Tiger.
“To have a champion like Jordan to take the time on the 18th hole to give me his best wishes speaks volumes as to what he is. He’s a phenomenal talent and I’m telling you that right now, he’s a better person than he is a golfer.”
Regardless of the outcomes of this year’s tournaments, Spieth’s future is bright and so is the future of the game.
Main Photo Credit: UNIVERSITY PLACE, WA – JUNE 21: Jordan Spieth (2nd R) of the United States holds the trophy as he celebrates with family, father Shawn Spieth (L), mother Chris Spieth (2nd L) and brother Steven Spieth (R) after winning the 115th U.S. Open Championship at Chambers Bay on June 21, 2015 in University Place, Washington. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)